Banner Health Group officially broke ground on four 21,000-square-feet East Valley health centers in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek Thursday.
“We want to offer care for the whole family in one center,” said Becky Kuhn, president for Banner Arizona East Region.
The centers will have primary care doctors, as well as onsite imaging and laboratory services. Extended morning and evening hours, as well as Saturday mornings, will give families extra options, Kuhn said.
The total cost for the four centers is $45.2 million. They are expected to open in the spring and summer 2013.
It’s not the first time Banner has opened this type of clinic, said Jim Brannon, Banner Health Group CEO. The health-care provider has opened similar centers in Maricopa and Peoria/Sun City. Another three centers will open in the West Valley, as well as another in Colorado.
Construction at the Gilbert site, located at 155 E. Warner Road, near Warner and Gilbert roads, has already begun and the foundation will be poured either Monday or Tuesday of next week.
“It’s these partnerships, of all of us coming together to build the community,” said Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “The services for our community that Banner provides have really taken it to the next level.”
Crews have begun the initial grading of the Chandler site, located at 1435 S. Alma School Road, which is the largest of the four sites and has the potential for an additional two phases.
“To give the economic perspective, we want to give the most cost-effective care and that’s not the hospital room setting,” Brannon said.
Rather than have people go to urgent care or emergency rooms for health care, these centers are aimed to lower costs while also providing wellness and sickness care, said Banner Chief Operating Officer Pam Nenaber.
“When you think about how many primary physicians are per capita, we saw these four cities were underserved,” Nenaber said. “The centers will be close to where you work, close to where you live.”
“Nationally, there’s a growing shortage of primary care services,” Brannon added.
“We’re really looking to make a ‘medical home,’” Nenaber said.
The centers will feature mainly primary care doctors, but also rotating specialists tailored to fit the community.
“In East Mesa, where the population is a little older, there might be a need for cardiologists, for example,” Nenaber said.
Other Banner specialists will be available for audio and video consultations with patients at the centers.
Additionally all of the clinics will be tied digitally to the whole Banner Health system, meaning medical records from different facilities will be able to accessed at any of them.
By consolidating records, doctors can ensure that there will not be adverse drug reactions or unnecessary duplicate tests, which could cut down on radiation exposure, Brannon said.
The Mesa clinic, located at 1917 E Crismon Road, is expected to open in July, while the Queen Creek center, located at 21772 Ellsworth Loop Road, will open in May.
The architect for the project is HMC Architects and the general contractor is Kitchell.
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