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Workers toil as a new building is underway at the Copper Queen Community Hospital.

BISBEE — Cochise County is fortunate to have four hospitals and many rural health clinics offering quality care to its 126,000 people no matter where they live.

Copper Queen Community Hospital

In Bisbee, the Copper Queen Community Hospital complex continues to grow as work is underway to build a new facility to house all non-clinical departments.

Rob Seamon, CQCH chief executive officer, said, “We’ve been moving dirt for quite a while. I’m excited to get the project going. We’ll have the administrative, financial, billing, medical records and human resources offices all under one roof.”

The most remarkable part of the project is the funding is coming through the efforts of the CQCH Foundation and the hospital, he added. No loans or grants are involved.

The 14,500-square-foot, one-story building is expected to be completed by September.

This is Phase 1 of a two-phase process, Seamon said. Once the departments are moved, the next step is to tear down the two empty office buildings and build a new outpatient surgical center so people can get certain procedures such as endoscopies, colonoscopies and minor surgeries in Bisbee rather than go to Sierra Vista or Tucson.

The existing surgical building will be repurposed after the new building is open, said Jessica Ogiba, communications director.

While patients have been able to take advantage of the existing surgical clinic, the physicians need more room, Seamon said.

The practicing surgeons who have offices in the current surgical clinic will help design the building, which will include two full operation suites and two endoscopy suites. Seamon hopes to have the plans ready by the end of the first quarter in 2021. The actual build date may start in 2022.

“The current surgical clinic is old and the surgeons have outgrown it,” Seamon said. “So, this will be another step in the development of the hospital’s services. It shows how strong and resilient the hospital is in these times.”

He has heard good reviews of the new CQCH Bisbee Rural Health Clinic, which opened in September 2019 in the former Rosa’s Little Italy restaurant and the Penny Lane Thrift and Gift shop. The hospital owns the strip mall adjacent to it which can be used for future expansion.

CQCH also opened the Physical Therapy Clinic on State Route 92 in Bisbee so recovering patients can receive treatment in town.

“We’re trying to keep up with outpatients’ needs, so the clinic stays busy,” he said.

The Bisbee Rural Health Clinic has a new provider for family psychiatric health, as services are expanded.

CQCH opened the Tombstone Primary Care Clinic, providing family care in an underserved area, and Seamon said the residents and snowbirds are appreciative of having their medical needs met close to home.

“The response exceeded our expectations,” he said.

CQCH has a substantial medical complex in Douglas that includes medical, physical therapy and urgent care clinics and an emergency department.

The Hereford/Palominas Rural Health Clinic opened as a medical care clinic, but now has grown to include physical therapy services and an urgent care clinic.

CQCH provides a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services including acute care, outpatient surgery, 24-hour emergency services, cardio-pulmonary services, telemedicine, pediatrics, rehabilitation services, family psychiatric health care, an occupational medicine department, a full-service laboratory and diagnostic imaging (which includes a state-of-the-art fluoroscopy unit), flat plate basic radiology unit, Dexa-Scan bone density unit, spiral CT scanner, mammography services, ultrasound, on-site experienced and professional radiologists, and teleradiology for speedy diagnostic capability.

In 2009, the CQCH was designated as a Level IV Trauma Center by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of EMS and Trauma System, allowing the facility to be able to support the state’s Level I Trauma Centers by resuscitating and stabilizing a patient, then transferring a patient to a more appropriate trauma center based on a patient’s injuries.

To assist local students who plan a career in healthcare, CQCH has three scholarship funds given each year.

For information, visit the website: https://cqch.org/ or call 520-432-5383.

Canyon Vista Medical Center

Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista offers a full range of patient services from acute care to behavioral health to surgical needs.

CVMC is a Joint Commission Accredited 100-bed acute care hospital that was founded in 1963 as Western Baptist Osteopathic Hospital in the outskirts of Sierra Vista. As the community grew, the hospital grew with it and in 2015 opened its doors to the state-of-the-art facility. It now employs more than 700 people.

CVMC is a Level III Trauma Center. It was the first hospital in Cochise County to receive that designation. As a Level III Trauma Center, CVMC has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations. It has 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists if needed.

It was the recipient of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® Certification for total hip and knee replacement. The certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care.

It is recognized as a Pink Ribbon Facility for Breast Health Excellence featuring 3D mammography.

CVMC helps the community and donates to local sponsorships and community events. The hospital paid $5 million in city, county and state taxes, which go to programs to help schools, roads and public safety in the community. As one of the largest employers in the county, the hospital had an annual payroll of $42,029,000.

Regardless of an individual’s ability to pay, CVMC provides quality care and as a result, the hospital absorbed $10 million in uncompensated care in 2017.

Education is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and strong community, which is why CVMC provided over $122,000 to Thrive, a community outreach center, and its programs in 2017. Thrive provides the community with free health lectures, support groups, and other educational programs.

For more information, visit the website at: https://www.canyonvistamedicalcenter.com/ or call 520-263-2000.

Benson Hospital

Benson Hospital has been serving the San Pedro Valley community in northwestern Cochise County since 1970.

What started as a small community hospital meeting simple needs of patients in the community has grown in response to care for winter visitors and residents. An overwhelming need for an emergency room, additional outpatient services, a testing laboratory, radiology and rehabilitation services was realized and acted upon by the board of directors and staff.

In 2007, Benson Hospital opened with eight beds, secured admissions, CT scans, an isolation room with a separate entrance and an urgent care unit. It has been well used since its opening and is accommodating the community and travelers with a 24-hour, on-duty emergency room physician, well-trained staff and ancillary services.

Services run across the spectrum of medical care. Benson Hospital has family practitioners, cardiologists, gastroenterologists; practioners in nephrology, orthopedics and podiatry; and midwives.

The 22-bed facility provides care to medical and surgical patients and includes a pharmacy. The hospital has six locally based physicians and physician specialists who serve on an appointment basis in areas such as cardiology, podiatry, mammography and rehabilitation. A redesigned emergency room offers a specialized eight-bed unit and provides quality emergency care 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

As an Arizona Certified Level IV Trauma Center, the hospital provides initial resuscitation and assessment of the injured patient. The hospital meets state and national standards for providing timely and optimal care for the trauma patient.

Benson Hospital has a full-service imaging center and offers X-rays, computed tomography, ultrasounds, bone densitometry, magnetic resonance imaging and mammograms.

The hospital has 22 beds for care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Benson Hospital nurses are committed to providing high quality, efficient healthcare during all stages of illness and rehabilitation.

The hospital has a partnership with Tucson Medical Center to offer hospice care, which cares for people with a terminal illness after the patient, physician and family decide that aggressive treatment is no longer appropriate.

For information, visit the website: http://www.bensonhospital.org/ or call 520-586-2261.

Northern Cochise Community Hospital

For people in the northeast corner of the state, the Northern Cochise Community Hospital in Willcox provides a comprehensive healthcare system that services northern Cochise County as well as neighboring communities in southeast Arizona. NCCH includes the hospital, Sulphur Springs Medical Center and Sunsites Medical Clinic.

NCCH was created to provide modern hospital services and facilities, as the facilities at the Municipal Hospital were outdated and it was becoming increasingly difficult to provide needed care for patients.

NCCH opened on Feb. 16, 1968, and on the first day experienced a small rain shower that exposed roof leaks, resulting in buckets being placed in strategic locations, both in the operating room and the delivery room, to catch the drips. Tom Jackson, the hospital's first administrator, recalled that first day was memorable. He operated as the hospital administrator, X-ray technician, lab technician, public relations person and office manager.

It had 25 beds and was one of only 23 in the state of Arizona, not including hospitals owned by the mines, and served as a model for Arizona community hospitals. NCCH also carries the distinction of being the first hospital in the state to recognize both doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine.

In the first year, NCCH had 707 admissions, including 83 births and four sets of twins. There were 31 full-time, and seven part-time employees, with 8,676 hours of volunteer service that first year. The nutritional staff provided about 100 meals per day.

What started out as a hospital of 38 employees has grown to one with about 175 today. Hospital services have expanded to meet the growing needs of the community, including rural health clinics, specialty clinics, endoscopy, inpatient rehabilitation and many outpatient services.

NCCH is rich in history and culture, contributing significantly to the progress and direction of medicine in Arizona. Services Include emergency care, inpatient services, outpatient services, radiology, rehabilitation, cardio-pulmonary care, nutritional care, nursing care and outpatient nursing services.

For information, visit the website at: http://www.ncch.com/ or call 520-384-3541.

Chiricahua Community Health Clinics

Though not a hospital, Chiricahua Community Health Clinics Inc. is one of the largest organizations in the county providing an array of preventive and primary medical care and dental care to people of all ages, with clinics in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Elfrida and Sierra Vista.

Medical providers operate as a team, ensuring that patients may always access the care they need even if their primary provider is not available. All providers participate in rigorous continuing medical education and receive regular reviews.

CCHCI is the largest provider of pediatric care in Cochise County and provides an array of exceptional preventative and primary medical care to all people.

For information, visit the website at: https://cchci.org/ or call one of the clinics.