Rep. Heather Carter (R-Cave Creek) champions a three-part holistic approach for Arizona: the importance of health care for Arizona’s economy, the need for a strong education system, and the symbiotic relationship between those two sectors.

During a recent panel presented by the Arthritis Foundation, Carter referred to health care as “the economic engine” of Arizona’s future. If the state wants to turn its economy around, she posited, “Health care in Arizona was one of the few Industry sectors that actually sustained, if not increased, during the economic downturn.”

Despite the growth in both health care and population, Arizona still experiences a shortage of physicians, partly due to lack of residencies for medical graduates.

“We train students in Arizona in our state schools … built and paid for by our tax payers then we have to ship them to another state to get their training,” Carter said. “Then they rarely come back. It’s extremely cost ineffective to not be able to train them where they’re educated.”

Carter urges the business community to reach out to legislators regarding medical residency. More doctors in Arizona would benefit consumers and stimulate the state’s economy. When businesses across all sectors consider relocating or expanding, health care and education are top considerations. Strengthening Arizona’s health care sector isn’t just smart business, she noted; it benefits the entire community.

“We want to make this place a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire,” said Carter. “We can do this with the help of health care because it is truly an economic engine. It’s not just about us being able to go to the doctor. It’s about high paying quality jobs that people stay in for long periods of time.”