TMC celebrates the economic impact of hospitals in building healthy communities, healthy economy

Hospital WeekWhat does $740 million in total economic impact look like?

It comes in the form of:

  • Salaries for 5,800 jobs
  • Vast deliveries of office supplies and medical equipment
  • Nutritious ingredients for 3,200 meals served each and every day
  • Technological innovation and capital investment

In short, it looks like Tucson Medical Center – the area’s sixth largest private employer – and its total annual economic impact, most of which occurs at home in Pima County.

Hospitals play a strong role in improving the physical health of a community, from caring for people in emergencies, performing healing surgeries and welcoming babies into the world.

Hospital Week 2Beyond that important work, National Hospital Week, starting May 7, is an appropriate time to celebrate the economic contribution hospitals make. The sector is the largest employer industry in the state, making up 13 percent of Arizona jobs and contributing $22 billion in direct economic impact.

Last year, TMC invested $58 million back into the community, in the form of providing charity care, engaging the community in wellness and helping to fund Medicaid expansion. In fact, nearly 80,000 people were touched by TMC outreach and education programs in 2016, spread across 751 events.

“As one of this region’s largest employers, and as Tucson’s locally-governed nonprofit community hospital, TMC is proud to play an active role in supporting our local economy and helping improve the community’s health and wellness,” said Julia Strange, TMC’s vice president of community benefit.

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Lucy Maupin

Lucy Maupin, senior systems software engineer

Lucy Maupin, senior systems software engineer

Lucy Maupin works diligently in the Alamo Building, keeping the organization’s major computer systems running smoothly. Maupin, a senior systems software engineer, first started working for TMC 28 years ago in TMCHE Lab. She then moved to Information Services in 2001.

One hat she wears is that of administrator for the Epic database, supporting the foundation of Epic and ensuring that it runs well. She is also the point person performing the technical side of upgrades to Epic, which is the core computer system of the hospital’s electronic medical records.

The other hat she wears is that of systems engineer for the Cloverleaf interface engine, where she manages the real-time interfaces between TMC systems. The interface allows information to be passed from a patient admission in Epic, say, to the computer system in the lab.

“Lucy is responsible for the care and feeding of the core server systems that support both Epic, as well as the Cloverleaf interface engine,” explained Jon Hallgrimsson, I/S manager of systems and databases. “These two systems are probably the most important systems in the hospital and support the daily work of everyone in both the clinical environment, as well as the Business Office.”

She and her team keep Epic up and processing information as efficiently as possible. “I work with a whole team of people who are dedicated to minimizing our planned downtimes,” she said.

“Lucy is passionate about quality and patient safety, and she works very hard to keep the highest standards for TMC’s patients,” Hallgrimsson said. “Lucy is a highly valued member of the I/S systems team, and the entire I/S department relies on her expert knowledge in these critical systems.”

One of her biggest challenges is staying on top of technology changes.

“You have to keep up in order to be effective and provide the expected results of these highly complicated systems,” she said. “There is high risk in most everything I do on a daily basis.”

Though keeping up may be challenging, it also brings its own rewards.

“TMC is giving me the opportunity to work on the cutting edge of software technology, always learning and growing,” she said. “I believe that my hard work contributes to the well-being of our patients and that’s why I love working in health care.”

Hallgrimsson seconds her dedication to patients.

“Lucy is passionate about quality and patient safety, and she works very hard to keep the highest standards for TMC’s patients,” he said, adding that “Lucy has been with TMC for a long time, and is one of my most valued employees. We’re lucky to have her in the driver’s seat for Epic!”

And for Maupin, TMC has made for a satisfying career.

“I’ve been here my whole life. TMC is my life, my home away from home and my family,” she said. “TMC has great people.”

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Sally McDowell

Providing clean and sterile operating rooms isn’t something staff members in the TMC’s Environmental Services department “strive” to do. They have to do it.

For every patient. Every surgery. Every day.

Sally McDowell TMC Environmental Services associate

Sally McDowell,
TMC Environmental Services associate

It’s a responsibility that can’t be overlooked, and is taken very seriously by Environmental Services associate Sally McDowell and her team. McDowell primarily works in the third floor of the TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, where all orthopaedic surgeries take place.

“In addition to cleaning and sterilizing the operating rooms after every surgery, we have to essentially deep clean every OR once a day. This includes cleaning the walls, the ceiling, and wiping down every single piece of equipment that’s in that room,” explained McDowell.

McDowell started working at TMC about a year ago, when she and her husband grew tired of Michigan winters and decided to move to Tucson. She had been an orderly at a Michigan hospital years ago, and was excited to work in health care once again.

“My job is to provide peace of mind to our patients and their families that their operating room is a clean and sterile environment. I do my part to ensure a positive patient experience,” said McDowell.

The most challenging part? Her work literally never ends. “There are always patients who need to be taken care of, and there are always areas of the hospital that need to be cleaned and sterilized,” she said.

In the short time she’s been with TMC, McDowell’s work ethic has made her a leader on her team, according to Environmental Services manager Gil Loera. “Sally is our go-to person on the third floor ORs. She has done a remarkable job in honing an enviable EVS OR team on the third floor. She has taken charge, and verifies that everyone follows processes and procedures as well as ensuring that she communicates any needs or concerns to the EVS management staff on a daily basis. We are extremely fortunate and delighted to have her on our team!”

In what can often be a thankless and overlooked job, McDowell said it’s always nice to receive a pat on the back.

“People will tell me, ‘We don’t know what we’d do without you!’” And that, she said, is one of the best things about working at TMC – knowing that she is making a difference in the health of our patients and the Southern Arizona community.

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Richard Lopez

Richard Lopez

Richard Lopez sorts linens at the TMC Laundry.

Richard Lopez has worked in the Laundry for eight years and has found Tucson Medical Center to be a place more friendly than any other place he’s worked.

“There are a lot of caring people,” said the equipment operator who attends to the linen needs of patients. He also helps out wherever the need may be.

“A lot of times when people ask for directions, I help them and show them the right way,” he said. “If they need a blanket or something, I take it to them. I help out the best I can, treat people the way I would want to be treated.”

The job is not without its challenges, Lopez admits. The units want their linens quickly. “The faster we get it to them, the happier everyone is.”

And his manager is happy to have him in the department. “Richard is a great employee, very polite and a hard worker,” said Lacee Kimball, manager of Laundry. “When he is out in the hospital, I know that he goes above and beyond to help any patient or guest to the best of his ability.  He really, truly cares about everyone and everything.”


Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Jenn Johnson

Jenn Johnson TMC Food and Nutrition Supervisor

Jenn Johnson
TMC Food and Nutrition Supervisor

Feeding some 400 patients, along with thousands of employees, family members and visitors – breakfast, lunch and dinner – 365 days a year, is not an easy task. While Jenn Johnson has it down to a science, the Food and Nutrition Services Supervisor is always trying to do better. “As supervisor, I ensure that our patients receive the right food at the right time, and that all non-patients have healthy, nutritious options available at all times. I also strive to create a good customer service experience between patients and their food service representative,” she said.

Johnson has been at TMC for a year, and supervises all areas of TMC’s Food and Nutrition Department, including the three retail outlets: the TMC Cafeteria, Peppers Café, and Higher Grounds located in the Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

She describes the most challenging part of her job as trying to keep up with what patients, staff and visitors want. In the year Johnson has been with TMC, Food and Nutrition Services has rolled out two new services that should translate to a better patient experience. They now offer a gluten free menu in which food is bought, stored and prepared in a specially designated part of the kitchen to prevent any cross-contamination. Also, TMC’s new On Demand Room Service allows patients more freedom of choice when it comes to selecting what they want to eat, and at what time.

“Jenn is approachable, professional and courteous,” said TMC Executive Chef Jason Ricciardelli. “She has great instincts as a leader and a manager. She is also willing and eager to learn and develop new skills vital to TMC’s True North goals for the future.”

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Mike Brandibur

Mike Brandibur TMC Plant Operations Supervisor

Mike Brandibur
TMC Plant Operations Supervisor

After working in TMC’s Power Plant for the past 27 years, Mike Brandibur will be the first to tell you that his job isn’t very glamorous. “When the power goes out, and there is no cooling, we suddenly become very popular,” he laughed. The Plant Operations Supervisor and his team provide heating, cooling, steam, medical air and emergency power for the hospital when Tucson Electric Power has an outage. “We try to provide the most comfortable environment for patients and their families,” he said.

What’s the most challenging part of his job? The daily duties of making sure TMC has enough of those elements available at all times. Brandibur has seen astounding changes in health care over the years, but says the loyalty and dedication he’s displayed is because of TMC’s core values. “I absolutely love the people who work here,” he explained. “TMC is a great place to work and I’m really proud to have worked here so long.”

Those values are what make Brandibur an exemplary employee, according to Derrell Blair, Plant Services Operations Manager. “Mike Brandibur epitomizes TMC’s core values. We have a lot of very good employees, but I cannot think of anyone who cares more about this hospital than Mike. Mike is a great role model for his staff and is highly respected by his peers.”

Hospital Week spotlight: Meet Naomi Maxam

Naomi Maxam TMC Environmental Services Associate

Naomi Maxam
TMC Environmental Services associate

Naomi Maxam describes her job at TMC as having absolutely no margin for error. The Environmental Services associate helps provide a clean and sanitary environment for patients, visitors and hospital staff. “It is vitally important that I do my job correctly and thoroughly, every single time I walk into a dirty room, because we don’t want our patients to leave with something they didn’t come in with, like an infection,” she said. While her main focus is the patients, Maxam knows that she has an equal obligation to maintain sanitary surroundings for all TMC employees.

Maxam spends her shift cleaning patient and non-patient areas. “Anything nurses, doctors, PCTs, patients or family members touch has to be disinfected. The job is incredibly detail-oriented, and we can’t miss anything,” she said. “It may look like we are just cleaning, but there is more to it than people may realize. We need to use certain chemicals to disinfect certain rooms to keep the spread of bacteria to a minimum.”

The work is labor intensive. And it’s never done.

“The biggest challenge of my job is keeping up with the demand since there is a constant need for cleanliness. It’s all day, every day. There is always an area of the hospital that needs to be clean and sanitized, so our work is never done by the time we finish our shift,” she said.

The best part of her job? Interacting with patients and their families daily. “I’m not at the bedside, but my job has a big impact on a patient’s overall experience. By keeping their environment clean and organized, hopefully it lifts their spirits,” she said.

Maxam also helps train new employees, or those who need specialized training before starting work in a new area. “Naomi is currently one of our key trainers. She never runs out of fresh ideas to improve staff training. She is constantly seeking new challenges and faces any obstacles with a can-do attitude and an infectious smile,” Gil Lorea, TMC Environmental Services manager. “She has been indispensible; she is diligent in ensuring that the training that new employees receive is the best she can provide. We are extremely fortunate and delighted to have her on our team.”

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461