Access to Care

The Institute of Medicine defines this as “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes,” is informed and driven by:

  • Arizonans gaining meaningful access to the right care, at the right place, at the right time. Efficiency, effectiveness, expertise, cost and patient experience all matter.
  • Health insurance coverage – ranging from KidsCare (Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program) and AHCCCS (Arizona’s Medicaid) to Employer-based insurance, the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicare.
  • Making progress toward the health care Triple Aim – improving care quality, lowering costs and improving population health.


Health disparities and access to care go hand-in-hand. The link between poor health outcomes and poor access to care is consistent, whether it is measured geographically or along racial, ethnic, cultural and gender identity lines.

In the equity frame, it is not enough to advocate for equal access to care opportunities. Achieving health care equity will require focused efforts like those identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Disparity Action Plan and those set in motion by the Affordable Care Act.

Why It Matters for resilience

The stronger we are as a state in facing the future, the better. Our capacities to respond and bounce back from events and circumstances are diminished if ethnicities, races, cultures, gender identities or age groups in our state are weakened by a lack of health care support for successful, fulfilling and long lives.

Join Us

Live Well Arizona is a continually evolving website and will grow with your input. Help us identify, lift up, and celebrate efforts that help Arizonans be healthier and live well.

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National Resources: The Big Picture

Look here for statistics, analysis strategies, resources and best practices from across the country.

  • American Public Health Association – What is Public Health?

  • Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index

  • Health Affairs

  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

  • National Transitions of Care Coalition

  • Planned Parenthood

  • Public Health Foundation – Quality Improvement

  • Public Health Institute – Healthy Communities

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Health Systems

  • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation – Health Reform

Arizona Resources: Local Spotlight

Looking to start, or engage in a conversation about Access to Care and how you can contribute? Here are connectors, conveners, advocates and actors to bring to the table.

  • Abortion Fund of Arizona

  • Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers – What is a Community Health Center?

  • Arizona Council of Human Service Providers

  • Arizona Department of Health Services

  • Arizona Family Health Partnership

  • Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

  • Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association – Programs and Resources

  • Arizona Public Health Association

  • Arizona State University College of Health Solutions

  • Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation

  • Benefit Enrollment Centers

  • Planned Parenthood Arizona, Inc.

  • Sonoran Prevention Works

  • University of Arizona College of Public Health

  • University of Arizona College of Medicine

  • Vitalyst Health Foundation

  • Your County’s Department of Public Health



Connect with Access to Care efforts-in-progress, and the partners who are helping to make them happen:

Access to Coverage

The Cover Arizona Coalition: A statewide coalition comprised of more than 900 members dedicated to increasing health coverage.

Improving Care

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s): A group of healthcare providers that share accountability for improving health outcomes and decreasing health costs for patient care. Learn more about ACO's from Vitalyst Health Foundation.

Care Coordination Coalitions: Coalitions dedicated to improving quality of care by advancing care coordination efforts. Multiple coalitions can be found via Health Services Advisory Group.

Clinical-Community Integration: Connecting clinical providers and community organizations to provide the community with better access to resources that increase healthy lifestyles. Examples include Circle the City, Student Health Outreach for Wellness Community Initiative, and myCommunity ConnectTM Center.

Community Paramedicine: Use of paramedics and other healthcare responders to expand emergency care resources offered to patients with high needs of care. Learn more about this type of work by visiting Vitalyst Health Foundation and consulting your Local Fire Departments.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health Integration: Reduces barriers to care by creating one fully integrated health plan that manages the behavioral and physical health needs of Arizonans with Serious Mental Illness. Visit AHCCCS for more information.

Housing and Behavioral Health: Programs focused on providing stable, affordable, and quality housing for individuals and family members with behavioral health needs. Organizations in Arizona offering these beneficial services include Arizona Behavioral Health Corporation, AHCCMS, and Community Partners Inc.

Nostros “Comprometidos a Su Salud”: a program developed by Dr. David Garcia to support research at the University of Arizona through community service and partnering with underserved Tucson residents. Visit Nostros for more information.


Community Health Workers: Trusted public health workers who can connect both health and social services to community members who otherwise would have difficulty getting access to such services. Visit Arizona Community Health Workers Association and Vitalyst Health Foundation to find out more about these essential health workers.


signature Projects

Get a bird’s eye view of efforts from around the country that can be an inspiration and reference point for Arizona-based work:

Accountable Health

Accountable Care Communities: Coalitions of Accountable Care Organizations that partner to systemically address health concerns in a community by treating health-related social needs. The Center for Health Care Strategies highlights some of this notable work in this brief.

Accountable Health Communities Grant: Center for Medicaid Services grant program that helps link clinical care to social services and improve overall population health.

Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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Year of Healthy Communities Event Submission

Add your event to the Year of Healthy Communities calendar.

If you have questions, please contact Emily Kepner ( or 602-774-3446).
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