The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) lost a close friend and colleague last week with the sudden passing of Sharon Anthony, Market CEO for Select Specialty Hospital–Phoenix. Sharon was not only well liked, she was deeply respected by those who knew her for her hard work and the passion she had for health and healthcare in our state. Below is an excerpt from a piece written by AzHHA President & CEO Greg Vigdor who shared his thoughts on the person he knew and the friend he lost.
Sharon had been a member of our Board since 2012, and it was early 2013 when I first met her on arriving as AzHHA’s President and CEO. I was immediately taken with her gracious yet insistent way in communicating to me what she thought important about the work of our Association- and then she pressed hard to make that so for us.
My admiration for her grew over the years to follow. She stepped up to serve as chair of a new constituency group for Post Acute Care Hospitals, and then led a project aimed at rationalizing where patients go in the discharge process.
Since we shared the tragic news last week, Board members, staff and other colleagues have offered to me their affection and admiration for Sharon and their great sense of loss. I can’t do justice to giving proper voice to these feelings; only communicate to you how deep and broadly her loss has been felt across our entire community.
Tragedies like this leave me with confused feelings, especially given our unique role as healthcare leaders. On the one hand, the pain triggers a commitment to the work left to be done to improve and extend healthcare so that the number or severity of illness and tragedies like this is lessened. On the other, we probably all ask how we should best balance our career with relationships with family, friends and other priorities as we confront the fragility of life itself.
I’ve got no answers, only a lot of sadness accompanied by great memories and appreciation for a lost friend—one we admired for her contributions and passion. And a hope that somehow this makes more sense with the passage of time and whatever we do next, individually and collectively.
Sharon Anthony was deeply committed to the Post Acute Care constituency group and she spoke to us about it during an interview we did with her a few months ago. Click here or on the photo below to listen to her response. As always, Sharon was thoughtful and optimistic about new ways to drive better health for the people of Arizona. She will be missed.