High blue: How Arizona’s wellness centers are doing with a $1 billion investment

AZCENTER, AZ – APRIL 28: The Arizona Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Health Services Director, Scott Gagnon, left, and Health Services Administrator, Paul Miller, right, look over data provided by the Arizona Department the Arizona Health Care Authority and the Arizona State University Medical Center during the Arizona Healthy Communities Summit at the Mesa Community Center on April 28, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona.

The Arizona Health Center was created in 2014 to provide the health services for the state’s more than 6.5 million people and expand wellness programs for those who have been unable to get adequate care at home or at their jobs.

High Blue was named a leader in Arizona in 2017 by the Mayo Clinic, and it has received more than $3 billion in federal funding.

Gagnon and Miller are expected to announce a $9 billion investment for the health center by the end of the year.

Arizona is expected to have about 9 million uninsured people by 2023.


Department of Public Health and Health Care Director, Susan Folta, speaks at the Arizona High Blue Health Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 23, 2021. 

(Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)High Blue has also been involved in health care financing, providing funding for new clinics in Texas and Utah and expanding its partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide new Medicare-based coverage in Arizona.

The state’s health insurance exchange was launched in 2018.

Healthcare advocates have welcomed the plan.

“We believe the health care infrastructure needs to be built in Arizona to help people with chronic conditions,” said Adam Levitan, president of the Arizona chapter of the American Cancer Society.

“High Blue’s investment is an important step in that direction.”

In a news release, Gagnan said the investment will help build Arizona’s infrastructure to serve the health needs of more people.

Gagnan and Miller have made a number of other announcements over the years, including the expansion of Arizona’s state-run health insurance marketplace, the state hiring more nurses and dentists and expanding high-risk pools for the uninsured. 

Arizona has a population of more than 23 million people, and according to the Arizona Republic, it has the fourth-highest uninsured rate in the country, after New York, Florida and Texas.

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