Mary Rose Wilcox, a Latina trailblazer with nearly 40 years of public service, has been elected Chairman of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors.
J. Woodfin “Woody” Thomas has been elected Vice-Chair by the five-member body that oversees Valleywise Health, which includes Valleywise Health Medical Center, the Arizona Burn Center, Level I Trauma Center, three behavioral health hospitals, the state’s largest HIV/AIDS primary care clinic and a network of community health centers.
“Mary Rose brings a deep knowledge and understanding of our community’s only public teaching hospital and safety net system of care,” said Steve Purves, Valleywise Health President and CEO. “She is a strong advocate in the community for our mission and vision.”
Wilcox has a long history with Valleywise Health. As a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervision, Wilcox served on the original Maricopa County Hospital and Health System Board from 1992 to 2003, when the current District Board was created. She joined the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board in 2016.
“This organization means so much to me,” Wilcox said. “I’ve seen the hospital and health care system evolve with the acquisition of the Maryvale hospital, the opening of new clinics across the Valley and now with the construction of a new Valleywise Health Medical Center. We’ve done tremendously well in the last decade, and I look forward to moving forward with the next phase of our community’s safety net health care system.
“I will continue to work closely with our medical partners, District Medical Group, and our hospital leadership to reshape Valleywise Health to better serve our community,” she added.
Wilcox’s contributions as a public servant have been matched by her advocacy efforts on behalf of the Hispanic community. She was the first Latina elected to the Phoenix City Council (1983-1993), and the first Latina elected to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (1993-2014).
Thomas, a former Litchfield Park mayor, is the newest member of the District Board of Directors. He was sworn into office for a four-year term in December 2018.
“I’m honored to be a member of this board and associated with the employees of Valleywise for the great work they do,” Thomas said. “I hope to serve them well as Vice-chair.”
Also, Wilcox and Directors Mark Dewane and Mary Harden were sworn into new four-year terms on the Board. They serve alongside Director Susan Gerard.