Banner Baywood Medical Center is planning an expansion that will make it the East Valley’s second-largest hospital campus.
The expansion would consist of a seven-story tower in front of the east Mesa medical center, adding up to 115 beds. When including Banner Baywood Heart Hospital, also located on the site, the campus will have 464 beds, making it the second-largest in the East Valley.
The largest is Banner Desert Medical Center, also in Mesa, which is licensed for 600 beds.
Banner Health’s board of directors is expected to approve the expansion this month. Ground would be broken for the new tower in November, said Laura Snow, director of planning for Banner Baywood. The expansion is expected to open in October 2006.
"Our (emergency department) is facing long waits, and we face too many hours that our ER is closed to ambulances," Snow said. "That’s all because we don’t have sufficient numbers of beds."
Banner Baywood, located off Power Road north of Broadway Road, serves a disproportionate number of senior citizens, Snow said. The age group uses the emergency department more often than the general population does and requires inpatient care three times as much.
Twenty percent of people who come to Banner Baywood’s emergency department need a hospital bed.
Having more beds will mean shorter wait times in the ER, said Don Evans, the hospital’s chief executive officer. Expansion plans include increasing the medical center’s intensive care unit from 15 to 26 beds, and adding two operating rooms.
"It will make the hospital half again as large as it is currently," he said.