Health care corridor forms along Higley Road - East Valley Tribune: News

Health care corridor forms along Higley Road

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Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:06 pm | Updated: 3:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Higley Road is becoming a key address in the medical community, and property for sale around those sites could house medical pads in the future.

Higley Road is becoming a key address in the medical community.

From Baseline Road in Gilbert to Southern Avenue in Mesa, that stretch of pavement along Higley Road is shared by Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s East Valley Specialty and Urgent Care Center, Banner Gateway Medical Center, Alliance Urgent Care, and, in 2011, the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center, along with numerous doctors, hospital beds and specialty services.

And property for sale around those sites could house medical pads in the future.

“We’re working to see how we can capitalize on all that development,” said Patrick Murphy, project manager for Mesa’s economic development department.

“There’s a need. ... They’re providing a great service to not just Mesa, but Valley-wide,” Murphy said, also noting the 2007 addition of Mountain Vista Medical Center, further east off U.S. 60.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital completed its East Valley building in December 2007. Since then, about 30,000 of the 35,000-square-foot complex is built out.

“Patients have truly appreciated us being in the location and being able to offer the specialty care we originally offered on the main campus and bringing it close to where they live and the neighborhood,” said Leslie Gietano, director of ambulatory operations. “They’re also pleased about the urgent care for after-hours and weekends to provide that care when an emergency room isn’t warranted.”

Hayden Perkins, 2, is one of those patients. His mom, Mindy, lives a few miles from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital satellite location in Mesa. She brings Hayden there for physical therapy weekly.

“It’s good to have one-stop shop,” she said. Her son, who has cerebral palsy, undergoes an MRI annually and she can get that done at the site as well.

A large expansion of hematology/oncology services is under way within the built-out space that will allow more patients to receive infusions. There could be between 4,800 and 5,000 infusions a year at the site, said Derrick Parker, senior vice president of operations for Phoenix Children’s Hospital Medical Group, the physicians group for the hospital.

“In the next two years I anticipate we’ll completely build out the remaining space,” Parker said.

The Phoenix Children’s site offers more than 40 areas of medicine and pediatric ancillary services, including speech therapy, endocrinology, neurology and sports medicine.

Phoenix Children’s had a small presence in the East Valley prior to that location opening, Parker said. But it’s been expanded greatly.

“Most of the patients were having to drive down to the hospital on the Thomas (Road) campus (in Phoenix). We’ve been able to move some specialties — pulmonary, endocrinology and gastroenterology — close to their home and where they live,” Parker said.

South of U.S. 60 rests the two-year-old Banner Gateway Medical Center, which is still expanding. It opened in September 2007 with 250 doctors.

There are now more than 900 physicians, said Susan Gordon, spokeswoman for the hospital. In 2009, the hospital saw 12,988 inpatients and 50,167 in the emergency room. More than 3,900 babies were born there and 6,666 surgeries were performed.

The next major project is the addition of a cancer center that will start at 120,000 square feet and eventually triple in size, Gordon said.

There is one medical office building on campus, with another planned to open in 2011 prior to the cancer center opening.

Kelly Patton, business development specialist for Gilbert, said the addition of the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center is “a huge economic driver for that area.”

“We really see that area as seeing a lot of economic activity over the next several years that will be a benefit to everyone involved in the immediate area, especially in Gilbert but on the Mesa side as well,” she said.

Construction on the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center began in December. Phase I will be a 120,000-square-foot, three-story outpatient center on the Banner Gateway Medical Center campus.

There will be 76 inpatient beds for the cancer center in the hospital as well, Gordon said. The $107 million facility should open in 2011.

Banner Gateway Medical Center now has one tower, but the campus was designed to hold two additional towers, with 500 patient beds planned for the entire facility. There is no time line on when those will be built.

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