There is no doubt that communities across the Copper Corridor are resilient. When the mines closed or reduced their operations, each of the communities drastically lost population. With the loss of population and industry, came the loss of services such as health care and quality of life services. Many of the communities were fortunate to have fully operational hospitals and clinics while the mines were booming, but those services drastically were retracted as the industry would retract.
When the mine operated hospital transitioned to a private operator, Samaritan Health Care, there was still some semblance of health care services; but eventually the company determined that it could not feasibly operate a clinic. To ensure that the community had a health care facility ASARCO helped to fund and create the Copper Basin Healthcare Foundation, which allowed the community to own the hospital and grounds of the hospital. Since 1992 the CBHF has been maintaining, operating and managing the the healthcare facility. The Hand Me Up Shop, helps to fill some of the funding needs for the clinic, but they primarily work to ensure that locals can find affordable medical equipment such as walkers and provide some support for locals who need assistance with medical costs
Over the past 20 years the non-profit board has ensured that there are health care providers working in the clinic, and they also rented some of the spaces to chiropractors, massage therapists, dentists and other medical services. Eventually the Foundation contracted with Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center to provide health care services in their facility. As this partnership grew over the years, more services were brought to the Kearny facility such as pharmacy.
As buildings age and new health requirements are added for medical facilities, it is important to ensure that buildings are maintained. These costs often are often larger than most budgets can allow, especially in small rural places. The Town of Kearny and the CBHF recently applied for a Brownfields grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, which is set to help the foundation with the environmental remediation of lead, asbestos and other potentially harmful materials that are found in older buildings. The grant will fund the demolition of the building and the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center will construct the new clinic which is set to be built on the grounds. During the construction of the new facility, the quality health care services residents of the Copper Basin utilize will be in the provided in a temporary facility.
The Copper Basin Healthcare Foundation will transfer the ownership of the hospital grounds to the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center and close the foundation. Without the leadership of Neil Jensen, Dave Orzell, Zola Hall, Wayne Cude and Jerry Henry, who are members of the Copper Basin Healthcare Foundation, it it likely that the communities of the Copper Basin would not have had nearby access to basic health care needs.