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The Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center

We are pleased to announce that the JFCS integrated medical and behavioral health care center, formerly known as the Catalina Health Center has been renamed in honor of the late Dr. Zent, CEO and President of JFCS. The clinic located at 3001 North 33rd Avenue in Phoenix will now be named the “Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center.”

The governance board of Jewish Family & Children’s Service has renamed its new Catalina Health Center in Maryvale in honor of Michael R. Zent, who was the agency’s CEO when he died on Jan. 11. The announcement was made at JFCS’s seventh annual Brighter Tomorrow Luncheon, held Feb. 26 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

“As a tribute to his memory, his innovation and vision, and all he accomplished for Jewish Family & Children’s Service during his tenure, the governance board decided to honor Dr. Zent’s legacy by renaming the Catalina Health Center, the Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center,” said Carol Kern, governance board chair.

The Michael R. Zent Healthcare Center is a state-of-the-art integrated medical and behavioral health center for children and families and will serve over 8,000 patients each year, half of them children.

JFCS has served the Maryvale neighborhood in Phoenix for 20 years. After outgrowing its previous facility, the JFCS board of directors purchased a 24,000-square-foot warehouse in 2013 and renovated it into the Catalina health center, which has an additional 8,000 square feet.

The facility will provide medical, behavioral health, laboratory and pharmacy services together under one roof. As the need for expanded and uninterrupted behavioral health care was urgent, JFCS opened the center’s behavioral health wings in November 2014, according to JFCS, and the medical wing, including on-site laboratory services, opened on Jan. 4 of this year.

To date, JFCS has raised $2.4 million of its $3.2 million goal and hopes to complete the fundraising effort by the end of September 2016.

The Maryvale neighborhood has the state’s highest rate of children removed from the home by the Arizona Department of Child Safety due to severe abuse and neglect and these are the health-care center’s most vulnerable patients: children with severe trauma symptoms.

These children are at high risk of developing serious mental illness and co-occurring chronic health conditions in adulthood, according to a JFCS release. “The potential future cost to society is staggering, as medical costs for adults with both physical and mental health conditions are two to three times higher than for those with physical conditions alone.”

The center is designed specifically to provide both medical and behavioral health care supported by one integrated electronic health record that includes medical and behavioral health services, medications and treatment history for each patient.

Features include a designated children’s behavioral health wing with a separate waiting area and playground; child therapy rooms available for assessment and treatment of trauma and autism spectrum disorder; and built-in cameras in observation and training rooms to help parents learn healthy behavioral techniques they can use at home. Once a child is in the care of JFCS, services continue for as long as needed, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Zent, who was 68, served as CEO of JFCS since March 2008. An interim team has been appointed: Javier Favela is overseeing administration and business operations and Mary Jo Whitfield is overseeing clinical operations.
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