Group aims to block Mesa General closure - East Valley Tribune: Business

Group aims to block Mesa General closure

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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 2:03 am | Updated: 12:05 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A statewide group of physicians and health care providers hopes to prevent Iasis Healthcare from closing the only remaining hospital in northwest Mesa.

Mesa General Hospital to close after 43 years

Last month, Iasis announced its plans to close Mesa General Hospital on May 31. The hospital, on Mesa Drive north of University Drive, is known for its cardiology and cardiovascular surgery programs, and faster emergency room service.

The 126-bed hospital opened in 1965 and has about 380 employees.

In a letter to William Jabjiniak, Mesa's economic development director, Advanced Cardiac Specialists announced its intention to take control of Mesa General, and continue the hospital's growth and development.

The group is asking the city to help it secure the continuation of the hospital with no major disruption in service. Jabjiniak is out of town and unavailable for comment.

"We definitely would like to see the hospital remain open," said Holly Hosac, public information and communication specialist with Mesa.

The hospital would be renamed Arizona Regional Medical Center, and the staff would make the transition to the new hospital the same way it has when Mesa General changed owners through the decades, according to the letter.

The property that houses Mesa General is owned by Sierra Land Group and leased by Iasis. That lease will expire July 31.Advanced Cardiac Specialists is working with Sierra Land Group to acquire a lease on the property.

According to the letter, Advanced Cardiac Specialists has the "resources, skills, knowledge and experience necessary to assume the lease from Iasis, make a seamless transition and continue to keep Mesa General functioning as a viable quality healthcare facility."

Iasis spokeswoman Tomi Galin referred questions to Sierra Land Group, which declined to comment.

According to its Web site, Arizona Cardiac Specialists is a privately owned, multispecialty cardiology and internal medicine practice founded in 1991.

It includes 11 locations statewide, with 34 physicians, seven nurse practitioners, seven physician's assistants, and a staff of more than 300 employees. As of August 2007, its cumulative patient volume exceeded 131,660.

Arizona Cardiac Specialists has worked with Iasis since 2002. Most of Mesa General's medical employees - nurses, technologists, surgical staff, laboratory and radiology personnel - have expressed a desire to remain at Mesa General after May 31, according to the group. It claims its physicians have attended to more than 90 percent of Mesa General's hospitalized patients.

Iasis is closing Mesa General because it cannot make capital improvements to a leased facility, Audrianne Schneider, Iasis regional marketing director, said when the closing was announced. Patients who remain hospitalized on May 31 will either be discharged if appropriate or transferred to other hospitals for continuing care, she said.There are no plans to close the Women's Care Center Clinic, which provides free pregnancy testing and prenatal care, in the medical office building south of Mesa General.

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