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Arizona Experiencing Growth In Medical Facilities Of All Types And Sizes

December 30, 2022

By Terri Jo Neff |

This month’s approval by the City of Maricopa’s planning & zoning commission of four amendments is the latest step toward bringing another hospital to the community, one of several projects adding to Arizona’s burgeoning supply of medical facilities.

The $762 million project planned for Maricopa by S3 BioTech will provide the city its second hospital, along with medical offices, nearly 140 multi-family housing units, and a hotel with 138 rooms.

The P&Z approvals involved amendments to three zoning maps as well as an amendment to the city’s General Plan. The project located at West Bowlin Road and North John Wayne Parkway will create thousands of construction jobs and potentially 3,000 medical-industry jobs, according to Ed Johnson of S3 BioTech.

While S3 BioTec’s project in Maricopa might not break ground until 2024, Arizona saw several large-scale medical projects open their doors this year, including Exceptional Healthcare’s long anticipated $18 million community hospital in Yuma.

The 20,000-square-foot facility opened this summer, providing Yuma County its second hospital. The new facility off Interstate 8 and Araby Road offers several features, including a 24-hour emergency department, an in-house lab, and helipad.

The project is one of six that Texas-based Exceptional Healthcare hopes to build in Arizona, according to CEO Saeed Mahboubi. The company opened its first in the City of Maricopa in late 2021 and announced just a few weeks later it was moving ahead with expanding its emergency department offering by the end of 2022.

Another medical facility which opened in 2022 is the Dignity Health East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Gilbert.

The 50,000-square-foot facility provides 40 beds for private-room inpatient rehabilitation and recovery for patients who have experienced stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions, multiple traumas, amputation, and other injuries or disorders.

Mark Slyter, CEO of Dignity Health Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers, said there was a need for the new state-of-the-art facility due to the “tremendous growth in complex care” at nearby Mercy Gilbert Medical Center which leads patients to seek conveniently located acute, hospital-based rehabilitation services.

“Dignity Health East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital – Gilbert will be the much-needed resource for those in our community who have suffered from serious illness and injury,” Slyter said of the project. “We are proud to partner with Lifepoint Rehabilitation to provide care and services close to home that will help people resume engaging in the activities that they enjoy, and to live life to the fullest.”

Meanwhile, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is taking steps to expand its pediatric offerings in the Phoenix Metro area with a $135 million campus in the West Valley. Groundbreaking of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital – Arrowhead Campus in Glendale occurred in November 2021.

The project, which is set to open in Spring 2024, will consist of a 180,000-square-foot, three-story hospital providing six operating rooms, 30 emergency / trauma rooms, and 24 inpatient beds. A separate medical office will provide a number of pediatric specialty services, including cardiology, neurology, and oncology.

Farther north, plans are moving forward for the first new hospital in Flagstaff since 1936.

Northern Arizona Healthcare announced in 2021 that it will expand medical services in Flagstaff by building a new hospital and several other facilities on a 90-acre parcel on the southside of the city. But details of the project were not revealed until a few months ago.

According to Interim CEO Josh Tinkle, the new hospital is needed because the Flagstaff Medical Center built in 1936 has become too small and outdated. This has led hospital administrators to annually defer treatment for more than 5,000 patients.

The Flagstaff project will also include more than 300-units of multi-family housing, a hotel, and restaurant / retail offerings to address the needs of new employees and residents. Funding and city permitting will likely take several months to finalize with a hoped for opening in 2027.

And in Bullhead City, Exceptional Healthcare announced plans earlier this year to build on its Maricopa and Yuma successes by constructing a small hospital in the Mohave County community in 2023.

A new 20,000-square-foot hospital will be a “great addition to our community,” City Manager Toby Cotter said at the time of the April 2022 announcement. “The medical facility supports the ongoing growth in our city and region,” Cotter added.

The Bullhead City hospital’s grand opening is expected in mid-2024.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

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