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Maricopa County Special Health Care District

Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors

The Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors is the governing body for Maricopa Integrated Health System. Each member represents one of the five districts in Maricopa County.

Members of the District Board are public officials, elected by the voters of Maricopa Country. The five members of the Board serve a four-year term.

To schedule time to meet with any one of the Board of Directors please contact the Chief Governance Officer, Melanie Talbot at 602-344-5177 or at and she will be happy to assist you.

  • Susan Gerard
    Chairman - District 3

    Term of Office:  2014 - 2018


      Health Policy and Management Consultant

    Education: Bachelor of Arts from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University. 


    Susan Gerard has been a leader in health care policy and systems in Arizona for more than two decades.

    She served as Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services from April 2005 to July 2008. She oversaw one of the largest departments in Arizona State Government, with a budget of more than $1 billion.

    Susan previously served as a member of Governor Janet Napolitano’s administration as a policy adviser for health care issues, assisting with crucial decisions involving state and federal budgets of nearly $8.1 billion directly linked to services for more than 1.2 million residents. 

    As a member of the Arizona Legislature, she served as Chair of the House and Senate Health Committees for 10 years. She championed most of the major healthcare legislation in Arizona in the last two decades.  As a lawmaker, she also led efforts to fund and create intervention and prevention programs such as Healthy Families, Healthy Start and Head Start

    “Much of the progress we’ve made in health care is a direct result of legislation Susan introduced and improvements she made at DHS,” said Janet Napolitano, U.S. Director of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor.

  • Mary A Harden, RN
    Vice Chairman - District 1

    Term of Office: 2016 - 2020


     Retired RN



    Local/National Professional Memberships: 
     AORN-Association of Operating Room Nurses (Perioperative), AzNA-Arizona Nurses Association, ANA-American Nurses Association,  ABA-American Burn Association, AzONE-Arizona Organization of Nurse Executives. 

    Hobbies/Interest:  Spending quality time with family, friends, our two dogs and playing piano. Volunteering with organizations that give back to the community.

    What is your vision for the Special Health Care District:
     I see MIHS as being an integral part of the overall health of our community.  I share the same vision as the voters did with the passage of Proposition 480 in November 2014, that we remain an important player on the health care scene in Maricopa County. Expanding Behavioral Health and Outpatient Services to those in most need is crucial.  Replacing the acute care hospital is a definite must.  

    What do you feel are some issues facing the District and how would you resolve them?  The District still suffers from an identity crisis, we are not the County Hospital of old.  MIHS is vibrant and dynamic and we educate the best of the best in our Physician Residency programs, our Clinical Nursing rotations and all other Allied Health training programs.  Communication is key to letting our citizens know who we are and what we do.

    What would you like the public to know about your background and experiences that would serve you well on the Board?  I am an RN with 38 years of experience, 32 of those years were spent here at MIHS.  I volunteer with Special Olympics of Arizona as Health Promotion Clinical Director.
    Currently I am a member of the Nurses on Boards Task Force sponsored by the Arizona Action Coalition Leadership Committee to help prepare nurses to engage in this arena.  I serve on the MariSol Federal Credit Union Board of Directors. 

  • Mark Dewane
    Director - District 2

    Term of Office:  2016 - 2020

      Paradise Valley

    Profession:  Senior Vice President-Wealth Management

    Education:  BS Arizona State University-Business Management


    Mark Dewane joined the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors in December 2012 after more than 20 years of volunteer service in Maricopa County.

    Mark is a financial planner by profession and serves as Senior Vice President of RBC Wealth Management in Phoenix. He has 27 years of experience in the financial planning field and was a member of the inaugural class of the Center for Planned Giving sponsored by the Arizona Community Foundation. This 18-month program teaches the intricacies of endowment building and high-level fund raising for non-profits.

    Outside the financial industry, Mark’s passion to serve has made him a leading figure in Arizona philanthropy.  He has been nominated as a life member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Blind Children. During his time as Board President, Mark assisted the agency in raising more than $3 million. He also chaired a dinner event that collected over $1 million for blind children of Phoenix and surrounding areas. Mark’s expertise in finance and non-profit organizations has led him to serve as a director, treasurer and president of many other local non-profits, including Valley Day School, Kitchen on the Street, JDRF and Citizenship Counts. During the last decade, Mark has helped these groups and others raise millions of dollars.

    Mark brings his passion for positive change to MIHS with a sweeping vision to revitalize the state’s only public health care system. His goals include supporting management to build a bigger and better health care system; creating a better patient environment; enhancing the MIHS brand; upgrading and enhancing outdated facilities and creating a world-class teaching facility with the University of Arizona College of Medicine -- Phoenix. He also cites the importance of protecting Maricopa County taxpayers by acting within his fiduciary responsibility to govern and oversee property tax dollars directed to MIHS.

    Mark has lived in the Phoenix area since 1970 and received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Arizona State University in 1985. He also has taken graduate coursework through the Hanover Forum at The Wharton School. He is a life member of the FBI Phoenix Citizens Academy Alumni Association, an outreach program by the FBI to qualified U.S. citizens to educate the public on the role of the FBI. The program took Mark to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Mark also is President of the Scottsdale Business Development Forum, a group of business leaders who work with Mayor Jim Lane to promote sensible, sustainable growth in Scottsdale.  

    Mark and his wife of 18 years have two children. During his free time, Mark enjoys outdoor activities including fly fishing, camping, horseback riding and hunting. He also loves watching his children participate in extracurricular activities.

  • Elbert Bicknell
    Director - District 4

    Term of Office:  2014 - 2018 


    Profession:  Retired


    Hobbies/interests: Family, reading, politics, and writing to assure our Constitution is followed and our Bill of Rights are kept intact.

    Local/National Professional Memberships: Mr. Bicknell is Past President of Gun-Owners of New Hampshire, Pro-Gun New Hampshire, and a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun-Owners of America. He is a member of the leaders Club for Heritage Foundation, and on the leadership council of Az. Citizens Defense League and member of the Madison Society Foundation.

    What is your vision for the Maricopa County Special Health Care District?
     To provide safe, comprehensive, compassionate health care to all patients through strong leadership, education, innovation and accountability. In order for our hospital and clinics to function properly, we must give the entire staff the same understanding and commitment we give to our patients. Then and only then can MIHS become a nationally recognized leader in the health care community.

    What do you feel are some issues facing the District and how would you resolve them?
     I see a need for more non-emergency care clinics, such as urgent care. I also believe we should be doing a better job of retaining not only doctors, but nurses and technicians as well. I would most urgently like to lower taxes citizens of the County pay toward the cost of maintaining MIHS. I would rely more on paying patients and reimbursements from other sources. We should be consulting with and joining with other “safety net” hospitals in assisting in the care of all citizens of Maricopa County. In addition, I would do everything in the hospital’s power to make sure that all bills due are collected from all patients that take advantage of the services rendered. 

    I also would like to pursue dually accrediting some of our residency programs. This would be a way of increasing the flow of applicants to the hospital. Further I would work very closely with our Legislators who would assist Arizona in retaining and gaining doctors and nurses, in particular, in the ER and if this means new laws then I would be amendable toward that end.

    What would you like the public to know about your background? I have a long history of civic engagement. I am a retired law enforcement officer who worked as a state trooper in New Hampshire and as a Detective Sergeant in Vermont. I also served four years in the New Hampshire House of Representatives; chaired Sullivan County Mental Health; and also was Chairman of the Deerfield New Hampshire Budget Committee. In Vermont, I began New Beginnings of Springfield, a domestic abuse referral agency, and served on the Vermont child protection team. A graduate of Nashua Business College, I also have been a small business owner and have been married for 32 years.

  • Mary Rose Wilcox
    Director – District 5

    Term of Office:  2016-2020 

    Residence: Phoenix


Meeting Information

The Board holds a regular monthly meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month.  An exception may occur if the fourth Wednesday falls on a legal holiday, in which case the Board will select another date and publish it in advance.  Special meetings may be called at the Board's discretion.  All meetings are open to the public. 

During a meeting open to the public, the Board may decide to go into executive session. A majority vote of Board members will authorize the executive session to convene immediately following the vote and that will not be open to the public. Executive session discussions are confidential as required by law.

Agendas for all Board meetings are posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting on this website and in the glass case in the first floor public elevator lobby, on the south wall in the Maricopa Medical Center, located at 2601 East Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008. Back up materials for each agenda item, except executive session items, are available in the office of the Clerk of the Board after the agenda has been posted. 

As a convenience to the public, and in the discretion of the Clerk of the Board, back-up materials for the agendas also can be posted on this site.  If back-up materials are not posted on this site and you would like a copy, please contact the Clerk of the Board at the Office of the Board, Maricopa Medical Center, Administration Building, 2nd Floor, 2601 East Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008, (602) 344-5177. 

Meeting Information

District Documents 

General District Information

Additional Resources and Links: 

  • Arizona State Legislature -
  • Attorney General Handbook - Chapter 7
  • Arizona Ombudsman - Open Meeting Law
  • To review Board of Directors archived meeting Agendas, Minutes, and Board Packets - click here
  • General Election information is available from the Maricopa County Elections Department.  Click here

Frequently Asked Questions

If you wish to file as a candidate for a seat on the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors, please note this is a nonpartisan board. Candidates for this office will file the appropriate paperwork with the Maricopa County Elections Department. For additional information on the process to run for office, including forms and important dates, please visit the following website:


  • The Board of Director for each District will serve a four-year term.


  • Positions up for election in 2018:
    • District 3, currently held by Susan Gerard
    • District 4, currently held by Elbert Bicknell
  •  Positions up for election in 2020:
    • District 1, currently held by Mary A. Harden, RN
    • District 2, currently held by Mark Dewane
    • District 5, currently held by Mary Rose Wilcox


The Board of Directors holds meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. at Maricopa Medical Center, with the executive session being held on the Monday prior to the formal meeting. An exception may occur if these days fall on a legal holiday, in which case the Board will select another date and publish it in advance. Meetings average 3 to 4 hours. In addition, throughout the year additional meetings may be called at the Board’s discretion. 

Board member time commitment is important. In addition to meetings, a Board member should allow time for other duties such as reading material/preparation for Board meetings, out-of-town seminars/conferences, speaking engagements, conversing with citizens, and ceremonial events such as groundbreaking events, grand opening, and employee events. Board members can expect to spend 20-30 hours per month on these Board related tasks. 


Board members shall serve without compensation; however, each member is allowed a per diem when attending meetings of the Board. The per diem amount may not exceed the amount prescribed by A.R.S. § 32-1604 as amended from time to time. The current maximum allowed by this law is $200 per day.

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