Living wage implemented at Northern Arizona Healthcare; no rate increases for consumers

July 2, 2014

Northern Arizona Healthcare implemented a living wage of $12 per hour for all entry-level positions. Approximately 5 percent of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s 3,300 employees received wage adjustments effective June 23, which raised their pay rates to the organization’s new $12 per hour minimum. All future NAH employees will earn $12 per hour or higher.

“Our employees are crucial to our mission to improve the lives of our patients and communities,” said William T. Bradel, Northern Arizona Healthcare president and CEO. “It was vital to our Board of Directors and Senior Management Team to be able to take this monumental step on behalf of our employees. By implementing the living wage, we are demonstrating to employees that we’ve made the same commitment to them as to our communities – a commitment to improve their lives.

“It is very important to note we were able to accomplish the living wage implementation while continuing our journey to lower the cost of healthcare,” he continued. “This is the third year in a row Flagstaff Medical Center did not implement a rate increase and the first year the Verde Valley Medical Center Board of Directors also voted for no increase. Our employees have focused diligently over the past few years to make us a more efficient organization. Their hard work and dedication are key reasons we are able to hold our rates steady.”

“We are pleased Northern Arizona Healthcare increased its minimum wage while avoiding rate increases,” said Lana Tolleson, president and CEO of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce. “This will have a positive impact on our local economy as the employees of VVMC will earn more money to support their families and, in turn, support other local businesses.”

In addition to the implementation of the living wage, more than 500 technical employees at Northern Arizona Healthcare received market pay increases as part of the organization’s annual review of salary ranges, which ensures employees are being paid at competitive rates. This year’s living wage implementation and market adjustments are part of Northern Arizona Healthcare’s comprehensive compensation package designed to ensure the organization takes care of its current employees and can continue to attract and retain excellent employees in the future. The package includes:

• Market increases for positions that are no longer competitive in the market according to an annual wage survey

• Performance-based merit increases for which all employees are eligible

• Annual Short Term Incentive Program through which employees are eligible for an additional percentage of their salary if the organization meets annual quality, patient satisfaction and financial goals

Northern Arizona Healthcare provides healthcare services through Flagstaff Medical Center, Verde Valley Medical Center, Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Fit Kids of Arizona, Guardian Air, Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, Northern Arizona Homecare and Hospice, Team Health and Verde Valley Medical Clinic.. The system provides the only Level I Trauma Center and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit north of Phoenix.

As the largest healthcare organization in Northern Arizona, the system serves almost one half of the state and exceeds 150,000 patient visits each year. Northern Arizona Healthcare employs more than 3,300 staff and has approximately 300 physicians on its active medical staff. As a nonprofit organization, it is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.