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February 4, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

Circle the City Medical Respite Center

  |   Video
  • Circle the City Medical Respite Center is a place where the homeless in Phoenix can go to recover following treatment at a hospital instead of having to recover on the streets. The visionary behind the center, Sister Adele O’Sullivan, and Marisue Garganta, the director of Health Integration for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, will discuss Circle the City.
  • Sister Adele O’Sullivan - Visionary of Center
  • Marisue Garganta - Director of Health Integration, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Category: Medical/Health   |   Keywords: medical, health, center, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: In tonight's look at Arizona giving and leading we focus on a new facility in Phoenix that serves as health care for the homeless. Photographer Scot olson and producer David Majure take us to "circumstance the city."

David Majure: These guys are lucky, that's a word we don't often use to describe people who are homeless, but in this case, it fits.

David Majure: Allen schmidt is lucky, he's a 62-year-old diabetic, whose life lab a roll of the dice for way too long.

Allen Schmidt: Too long. Months. Living in a park. Sleeping on the ground. And, you know, not being able to get a place. Or my medications. And so, so my, my -- I'm a diabetically, insulin dependent, so my blood sugar just kept climbing.

David Majure: He collapsed and nearly lapsed into a diabetic coma. Emergency responders saved his life by getting him to a hospital. This had become a routine for Allen during the last two years. He would be treated, released, and sent back to the streets.

Allen Schmidt: And I was still sick. And he would give me a bunch of prescriptions, but I have no income. And I have no insurance. So, they are Ruthless.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: Oh, what would that man have done? He would have died. He would have died. If he had gone back to the street.

David Majure: Instead, Allen was place in the care of sister adele o'sullivan, a medical docotr who dedicated her life to healing the homeless. Dr. O’Sullivan The doctor says the valley service providers do a good job of providing shelter, health care and social services to those in need.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: The gap in the city is between the hospital, and the street. If you are not quite sick enough to be in the hospital, so you don't meet the admission criteria or you have already met discharge criteria, you know, they say to us, great, you are better, you get to go home. But, you are too sick, you are too sick for the shelters. You are too sick for the streets. And, and that's the gap. Where do those people go?

David Majure: There is finally an answer to that question. It's circle to city, a nonprofit o'sullivan founded to operate the first medical respite center for people who are homeless.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: You could see the last remnants of the construction here.

David Majure: She took us on a tour of the facility days before the grand opening at the end of September, 2012.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: So, this is our day room. When this space is put together, it will be a beautiful kind of a living area. Love to see the art that they are putting on the wall.

David Majure: Hospice of the valley bought the building and lease itself to circle the city. That's just one example of community support that made this place a reality.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: The dining room and the kitchen and the day room, we just came from, were all furnish for us by thunderbird charities.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: Our food is going to come prepared in the beginning. From st. joseph's hospital down the street, and, but we'll need volunteers to serve it. This is years, years of planning, and years of, of, of creating relationships. This is all about relationships.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: And this is a special place for us. This is our chapel. And it's an interfaith chapel. What we wanted to, to express is, is that, that spirituality is a major element of our lives, of our persons. And of the healing that, that we want to facilitate for our clients. So, we now moved, if we were recovering in our own homes, we moved from our living room, dining room and kitchen, to our bedroom area. So this is a men's dorm. It will be ten men, sleeping in the semi-private alcoves. The beds were donated by the Conrad Hilton fund.

David Majure: The respite center can care for 50 clients. There are 40 beds for men and ten in a private room for women.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: We are trying to, to create the environment that we would have if we were able to go to our own homes, and recover. That this is what we want to provide. For people with no homes. This just isn’t a thought, any more, this is real. And pictures are going up on walls, and, you know, beds are being installed, and it's just a, a tremendous day of happiness. For, for all of us.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: This would be like you are just walking now into your doctor's office, you know. I see something that's going to be different in the future than the past, but just because I've been doing this for 15 years, I see the past, too. I see faces of people that I have taken care of over these years. And I think oh, I wish, I wish that, that I could have put them in these beds. Taken care of them here. [Applause]

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: This building is now open for our community.

David Majure: Circle the city is healing broken bodies and mending troubled minds. Giving people like Allen the medical attention they need in a clean and comforting environment. It's also helping people put their lives back together. By getting them the public benefits they are entitled to, and whenever possible, finding them a home to go to when they leave the facility.

Allen Schmidt: They will find me something, you know, or they will hang on to me, you know, and that's the fear. You know. Is they cannot find a place, and I'll be back on the street.

Allen Schmidt: And I really don't want to be there. You know. Frankly, I would rather be dead than being on the streets again, you know.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: I know that, that what's going to happen in these walls is, is that, that suffering will be prevented. People's lives will be made different. People will be given the opportunity for success and for moving on into something better. And I just am so grateful to be moving into this new phase, and, of really health care for the homeless in our city.

He got it already.

David Majure: It's a chance at a healthy, new beginning for the lucky ones, like Allen.

Ted Simons: And joining me now to talk about circle the city is Sister Adele O'sullivan, the visionary behind the sister, and Marisue Garganta, the director of health instant immigration for St. Joseph's hospital and medical center. Sister, how did you come up with this idea?

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: These centers operate successfully in most cities around the country, so it's not an innovative idea. It's that Arizona had no medical respite center until circle the city opened.

Ted Simons: What prompted you to make sure that Arizona did have such a facility? What got you going?

Ted Simons: I think that the years of working with people who deserve the dignity of a safe and clean environment in which to recover.

Ted Simons: Is the result, which we just saw, which you experience every day, is that what you envisioned?

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: Oh, yes, and even more.

Ted Simons: Even more.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: And even more.

Ted Simons: St. joseph's involvement, talk about this and the entire collaboration. And again, was this what you envisioned?

Marisue Garganta: More. It was bigger. Sister adele and I have been working with the homeless for some time, and one of the key things that we forget and we neglect to recognize is that when people leave the hospital, where do they go when you get a stomach ache? You get a bad flu, you go home, you go to your bed. You rest. You sleep, you get well. Homeless people don't have that opportunity. And so, this vision of ours of how did we transition people from hospital to home, has been something that we've been working for some time. So currently, what St. Joseph's was doing was, actually, paying for people to go into, into health, into, into a skilled nursing facility, or get some kind of home health some place, that they could rest and get well. But it was not optimal. It was not optimal, so this is what we envisioned and more. This is so much more.

Ted Simons: What is the criteria for admission? Define homeless. Is it someone who has absolutely no place to stay? Maybe a place to stay, they don't want? How do you get in?

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: Homelessness really, there is the homelessness that we think of, people who live on the streets, in the parks, and in the emergency shelters. And there is also people who, who double up with a friend, or a family member, and once the illness happens, that friend or family member says, I cannot take care of you. There are also people who might have a home but they cannot go back. And an example of that would be people that have had major, major surgery. And live in a third floor place with no elevator. So, it's, it's, what we are, we are trying to do, is find the people that have nowhere to go. And to be sure that this service is available.

Ted Simons: 50 beds, 40 for men and 10 for women, according to what we just heard, how do you decide who to take and who makes that decision?

Marisue Garganta: From the health care perspective, we try to make sure the placement is a correct placement because we don't want to send the wrong person to Sister Adele to be taken care of so we look at the care that, that transition and the Sister Adele comes into the hospital and makes sure that the criteria fits, and so we come together as a team, a multi-disciplinary team at the hospital to decide, is this a circle of the city? Is this skilled nursing? Where do they go? Where is the best place for them to get well? And that's what we decide. Where is the best place for them to get well. And with partners like Sister Adele, we make those decisions together. For the best for the patient.

Ted Simons: Are those difficult decisions?

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: They are difficult. We would like to take care of everyone.

Ted Simons: Sure.

Sister Adele O’Sullivan: I think from our perspective, we have some criteria for, for patient safety, you know, we're not a locked unit. We're not -- we can't take certain very acute cases that would require licensed staff 24-7. But there are so many people that what they need is, is they need that safe place. They need the doctor. They need the nursing care. And three meals a day and a clean bed.

Ted Simons: Yeah. How is circle the city funded?

Marisue Garganta: It's funded through grateful donors, you can actually donate to circle the city. And I do. And I hope you will. So, grateful donors but also, the hospitals, the hospitals, actually, we, at St. Joseph's, have purchased two beds so 365 days for two people. And we can have many people go 365 days, you know, twice, two times. And we have a per diem rate that we also pay, so the hospital literally pays circle the city to take care of those special patients for us.

Ted Simons: And it's still, obviously, less expensive than emergency care and what was done before.

Marisue Garganta: Well, more importantly, our hope is that, is that we're able to take care of these patients in the right place and the right space, and I think that that's something what we forget, when you go to the hospital, you are acutely ill. And some of these things are taken care of at hospice, or Circle The City and actually, it's the right place for them because you are, you or I would go home, and maybe go to an infusion suite to get infused antibiotics because we have a place to go home at night. These people don't have that. So, it's the right place, the right kind of care, the right space, and that's the criticalness of this discussion. The other piece that I think is neglected that we have not discussed, this space and place, we are trying to surround these people with what happens after they leave the circle the city. And so, we have just entered into a new partnership, called fuse with corporation for supportive housing, and with, with supportive grants from the St. Lukes health initiative, and cass and a variety host of others to move these people into the supportive housing, so when they leave circle the city, they go to their own home.

Ted Simons: Well.

Marisue Garganta: That's the beauty of this.

Ted Simons: It's -- there is a lot of beauty to this and, and continued success, and congratulations on a great effort here, and thank you very much from the community. It's great work, and good to have you here, thanks for joining us.

Marisue Garganta: Thank you for having us.

Phoenix Coyotes update

  |   Video
  • Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers will discuss the future of the Phoenix Coyotes staying in Glendale, now that a deal to keep the team there has fallen through.
  • Jerry Weiers - Mayor, Glendale
Category: Sports   |   Keywords: coyotes, phoenix, glendale, update, deal, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. A deal to buy the Phoenix coyotes fell through but hockey officials and the city of Glendale are looking for ways to keep the team in town. Joining us now is the Mayor of Glendale. Jerry Weiers, good to have here.

Jerry Weiers: Thanks for having me here.

Ted Simons: Were you surprised the Jameson group missed the deadline?

Jerry Weiers: I was not surprised. You know, I've been in sales a good portion of my life. I have owned several businesses, and you get to where you read body language, and a, and a lot of hearsay from outsiders that, that tell you thing they believe. I was not surprised, I sort of expected it, but at the same time, we had given our word, the city of Glendale, the previous council, made a deal, and we kept our word, he did not make it happen, or fortunately, however things play out, but, right now, I see some great opportunities for us and hopefully we can take advantage of that.

Ted Simons: I want to talk about that in a second but what do you know and what can you say about why the group failed? This has been a year in the making, and it was stretched to the last second, and nothing.

Jerry Weiers: I don't know his contacts. He never did divulge that. I think it comes down to a lot of different factors. One, is the team hasn't had the greatest record. Last year was a great, a great season for them, and hopefully they can continue that. But, they go on to a strike. But, it seems like it's been one problem after another, in lots of areas. The recession hasn't helped any of us out, and to find a buyer and the people that will come to the game consistently, and businesses that want to sponsor advertising and things like that, it's just been a really tough fight for everybody. Obviously, we gain, if we can come up and figure out a way to keep the team in Glendale, but it has to be something that makes sense. It cannot be at all costs. It has to make sense for the city, and our citizens.

Ted Simons: The coyotes will stay in Glendale for the rest of the season?

Jerry Weiers: That's correct.

Ted Simons: And once the season is over?

Jerry Weiers: We're trying hard to keep them.

Ted Simons: The city released a statement after this was announced that, that, "seeking direction from city council on how to move forward.” What does that mean?

Jerry Weiers: Well, we have four new members, obviously, today makes day 21, not that I'm counting. Day 21 for me, as the Mayor of Glendale. I have to try to represent the entire city. The three new council members, along with myself, had a different version on what the previous council had taken. And that's not to say that the previous council was wrong or that we're right. Obviously, you know, we have to take the advantages that we have, knowing the information that we have, and the people interested in acquiring the team, and how do we do that, makes sense for everybody.

Ted Simons: What options, it seems as though you look at this deal, and reasons that I think that you and other members of the council weren't too happy about it, it's a sweetheart deal for the new group. If you cannot get an ownership group assembled with that kind of deal, where do you go from here?

Jerry Weiers: Well, and I have started going from there. I talked with, with the NHL commissioner yesterday, and even though it was Sunday, apologized to them for me calling him on Sunday, and he informed me that his job is a 365-day a year job, I guess, as mine is but, you know, the problems don't go away, they don't change, and so it's up to me to do everything in my power to make things work, and I offered to him myself, as far as doing whatever we can to negotiate something that will allow him to find more buyers, we have already got two folks, that, that, a portion right now I cannot divulge who they are that expressed some major interests, and one of those, I'm very confident has the ability, but, again, in business, they are only going to do what makes sense for them, so it's finding that balance for the business and the city.

Ted Simons: I think some fans would say, we have a couple folks waiting to get in and we have a group wait to get find friends, why couldn't the two meet?

Jerry Weiers: Well, again, you know, businesses that, not necessarily all businesses are going to want to partner. And I think that one of the, one of the issues previously, is I think that, that as, as Mr. Jameson kept going to different lenders, and by the time you split that pie in so many pieces, no one is getting a whole lot, but everybody is, is susceptible to a lot of downsized, so, if you cannot reap the most rewards and you stand to lose, sometimes, it's not very appealing.

Ted Simons: Too much risk.

Jerry Weiers: Potential, yes.

Ted Simons: What would you like to see the city do?

Jerry Weiers: We're already doing that, obviously, I have talked with Mr. Jameson. I have talked with a couple folks that have expressed interested, and Mr. Jameson, the NHL commissioner, yesterday and, and in the conversation that we had, he was extremely excited on, on something that, that I had suggested, and he said that, that, that previously, they did not have those options that, that I'm suggesting that we at least talk about today.

Ted Simons: what would they be?

Jerry Weiers: I wished that I could tell you. And right now, I have to protect the potential investors and, and we need negotiations, we need to open it up to as many people as possible, not just limit ourselves to one buyer. The whole open process as far as getting as many involved as possible to get the best deal for the city. Once we come up with something, we can presented it. And then, of course, the public will know about it, but, it has to work. Just has to work for the city.

Ted Simons: And you did not think the last deal necessarily would work the best for the city. Why is that? And again, can you reshape, restructure something that would be attractive to investors, especially when investors were not all that attracted to what was offered before?

Jerry Weiers: I do think so, and again, our conversation yesterday, what I suggested to him he was excited about, and that is changing the contract, some details about it, that, that, actually, wouldn't cost the city as much money but potentially, the new owners have more opportunities. And that's huge. You know. Business is all about opportunities. The least amount of gamble for the most amount of profit made is what businesses are always looking for.

Ted Simons: So, you disagree with the last deal, what was it in general? Or in particular that you did not like about that last one?

Jerry Weiers: There were several things. Obviously, what I had talked about in my campaign is if you are a citizen and your house catches on fire, you know, if you have someone breaking into your house and you need to call the public safety, the deal that we had with, with the hawk is, that we're going to go ahead and fund hawk at all costs. And that's not necessarily true, but that was perception, and at the same time, we're coming back and we're cutting public safety. So, one of the things that I mentioned in, several times in my campaign, is if you need a fireman or policement quickly, you don't want someone showing up in a Zamboni. You want someone showing up to do that job.

Ted Simons: Were there not separate silos, one for coyotes, one for city services? Could they have not existed side-by-side?

Jerry Weiers: It comes down to perception. As you are giving money away to a national hockey league, at the same time, at the very, very same time, you are cutting your public safety. Citizens don't care. They don't care, the perception is, you are going to fund this and cut this.

Ted Simons: Can the city afford to have the coyotes leave? Can you afford to have that arena without a tenant? A hockey tenant?

Jerry Weiers: I think that if we cannot get a deal that makes sense, we may not have any options, although, we're trying desperately right now to come up with a balance can that can make more than it spends and giving the team an opportunity to, to build, become successful, and drum up more attendance and hopefully, in years to come, be able to fill that arena.

Ted Simons: Do you think that the arena so far and, and the hockey team, so far, in that arena, have they both been a catalyst for growth out there?

Jerry Weiers: I think early on before the recession hit, I think it was huge. When you go out to that area now, you see a lot of closed businesses, and the real question is, are the hockey games being played, are they drawing in enough to keep the businesses open? I went out before the election and talked with several merchants, and several said, our doors are not open because of the hockey, it certainly doesn't hurt. But, if we depended only on hockey, we could not make it, so, when tanger outlets opened up, which is a huge, huge boom to the city, and those type of things is what's going to grow. We have a new hospital that, that we just, had a ceremony two days ago, and St. Joseph west gate, which I coin the name Joe west, you know. We got some, some huge growth coming into our city. Along that corridor 101 Glendale Avenue. Our city is a place where in the future is where things will be happening and the money will be coming, and I think that, that we can salvage all of this.

Ted Simons: Do you have a plan b, c, or d in place if the team does leave.

Jerry Weiers: Right now we are in discussions with potential owners, this is so fresh, that, that the council hasn't had a chance to sit down, I'm one vote of seven, and I have to get here members, figure out what they want to do and how they want to accomplish that, and hopefully we can get on the same page, and address the city's needs. That's the bottom line, that's what we have to do.

Ted Simons: Last question, big picture here, do you think that the city should have gotten involved in sports to the extent that it has between the Cardinals' stadium, University of Phoenix stadium, arena, camelback ranch there is a lot of sports activity out there, and you hear criticism all the time, no one wants to go out to Glendale and no one wants to do that, it's too far away. has it been worth it?

Jerry Weiers: Loaded question. When things are cooking, when things are working right, and when the economy is good, I think that it's, I think it's great for the city. The real question, with our, our economy today, I don't think that they have anything to do with it, I think that people do what they want to do when they want to do it. You look at the renaissance festival on the far east side, superstition mountain area, and I know a lot of people in the west valley that drive that. They do that because they want to. So, the drives don't make it much different. It's when you have somebody that has seasoned tickets to something that's being played two or three times a week. And that's where it becomes difficult, especially on school nights if they have kids. Yeah. So, you know, it might be hard for people in Scottsdale, but, the people in the west valley, Avondale, surprise, el mirage, Buckeye, good itself year, Litchfield park, all those folks? I don't think that they mind the drive at all. I think they like it.

Ted Simons: Mayor, it's good to have here and thanks for joining us, we appreciate it.

Jerry Weiers: Thank you, you bet.