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Connection Newsletter - COVID-19 Arizona update

As of Wednesday’s Arizona Department of Health Services Data Dashboard, 2,402 new COVID-19 cases were reported as well as 37 lives lost to the coronavirus in a day.

COVID-19 Arizona update

A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge ruled Monday that the Arizona law passed during the 2021 legislative session banning mask mandates in schools is not yet in effect. The lawsuit filed by a teacher in the school district alleged that the Phoenix Union’s governing board lacked the legal authority to require masks. Mary O'Grady, Phoenix Union’s attorney argued the law that was passed would not be enforceable until the general effective date of September 29, 2021, because an emergency clause vote was not held.

As of Wednesday’s Arizona Department of Health Services Data Dashboard, 2,402 new COVID-19 cases were reported as well as 37 lives lost to the coronavirus in a day. Vaccination continues to be the best way to slow the transmission of the virus and prevent individuals from getting seriously ill if COVID-19 is contracted. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated may find a vaccination site at

Registration open – 2021 Arizona Health Equity Conference

Join the statewide movement to promote resiliency and health equity by attending the 2021 Arizona Health Equity Conference (AzHEC) October 14. Attending the conference is a great opportunity to understand current health equity research, outreach and policies taking place in Arizona and to connect with partners who are working in the field of health equity or interested in reducing health disparities. To view the conference program, click here. Both virtual and limited in-person registration options are available.

The AzHEC planning committee is accepting nominations for the 3rd Annual Innovation in Health Equity Award. In memory and recognition of Stella Kiarie’s work in the public health field, it is an honor for AzHEC to continue her legacy and recognize public health innovators. If there is someone you know who has consistently demonstrated dedication to the public health industry while creating positive change for the greater community with their leadership, we encourage you to submit a nomination before the September 3 deadline.

AzCHER holds healthcare emergency response team training

The Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AZCHER) in partnership with the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) held its Healthcare Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents, 21R-0236 HERT / 21R-0237 HERT-B-Train the Trainer course, July 18-23 in Anniston, Alabama. This course addresses healthcare response at the operations level for a facility and its personnel. It also prepares healthcare responders to utilize the Hospital Incident Command System — integrating into the community emergency response network while operating an Emergency Treatment Area as hospital first responders during a mass casualty incident involving patient contamination. The July course had 21 attendees of which AzHHA members Summit Healthcare, Dignity Health-Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Havasu Regional Medical Center, Valley View Medical Center, Northern Cochise Community Hospital, Santa Cruz Valley Hospital and The CORE Institute Specialty Hospital attended. “This training at the CDP was amazing,” said Scotti Rodriguez, practice director at Summit Healthcare. “Being a small hospital in a small community we must be able to fend for ourselves as we don't have larger hospitals around us for quick support. We also need to be able to train our own, and in this training, we got the tools needed to become a trainer of this material and now can grow our staff to also be prepared for when something might occur.” This and other emergency management trainings are available to AzCHER members. Visit the AZCHER website for more information.

DOJ and FTC increase enforcement actions against "no-poach agreements"

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have increased their enforcement actions against “no-poach” agreements, where companies agree not to recruit or hire each other’s employees. According to an American Hospital Association publication the DOJ is now bringing criminal prosecutions of no-poach agreements regularly.

The Antitrust Agencies’ enforcement of “no-poach” agreements is consistent with President Biden’s recent Executive Order (EO) on Competition in the American Economy. The order singled out non-compete and “other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility” for increased scrutiny.

Hospitals may review the 2016 Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals issued by the FTC and DOJ and consider its application to the organization and activities as well as adopt an antitrust compliance program for your organization to lessen risk.

COVID-19 vaccine booster for immunocompromised individuals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its emergency use authorization August 12 for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss further clinical recommendations regarding immunocompromised individuals. The CDC also announced it will pay, approximately $40 each, to administer additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines consistent with the FDA emergency use authorization, using CPT code 0003A for the Pfizer vaccine and CPT code 0013A for the Moderna vaccine.

Member spotlight – Summit Healthcare's CEO, Ron McArthur retires


Ron McArthur, former CEO of Summit Healthcare and AzHHA Board member retired this month after serving as the hospital's administrator for 11 years with eight of those serving on the AzHHA Board. In this new chapter McArthur and his wife, Jenice will be spending their time in Oklahoma and traveling across the country to visit their five children and 20 grandchildren. Summit Healthcare staff held an open house for his retirement on August 6 where community leaders, colleagues, friends and family were able to recognize his accomplishments and celebrate his well-deserved retirement. The AzHHA team would like to thank McArthur for his leadership and commitment to Arizona's healthcare community.




Upcoming Events

August 26 - 2021 Arizona Public Health Conference

Get the latest updates from county health officials about their post-pandemic workforce needs and hear from the state and regional Area Health Education Centers as they develop plans to meet Arizona’s post-pandemic public health and healthcare system needs. Register here.

October 7, November 11 and December 2 - Introduction to POLST

Interested in learning how to use the Arizona POLST form with your patients? The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST in Arizona. The objectives are to describe what POLST is at the state and national level, explain why POLST is important, define the population for POLST, when to begin the conversation and who completes POLST, describe the process for completing, reviewing and updating POLST and learn the process of submitting healthcare planning documents to the Arizona Healthcare Directive Registry. To register for a workshop, click on a date below.


In the News

Arizona governor issues order banning cities, counties from enacting vaccine mandates
The Hill

Arizona hospitals see rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases amid nursing shortage
Fox 10 News

New database set up for living wills
The Copper Era

With no beds, hospitals ship patients to far-off cities
ABC News