Health care providers reveal plans; services, facilities expanding for fast-growing West Valley communities

If you go

What: Sun Health Foundation presentation “Our Vibrant Future: Generosity for Generations”

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 (presentations conducted every hour)

Where: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Lakeview United Methodist Church, 10298 W. Thunderbird Blvd., Sun City

Registration & Info: Call 623-295-0022 or email

By Matt Roy, Independent Newsmedia

Health care providers across the Valley continue to grow their operations to meet the needs of rapidly growing communities.

Banner Health, the Abrazo Community Health Network and Honor Health all have big additions to their facilities and services in the works in Phoenix and the West Valley – including new and expanding hospitals, training programs and community outreach efforts.

Banner & Sun Health

Banner Health continues to grow its mission in the West Valley with plans to dramatically expand its hospital in Sun City.

The company announced in October what hospital officials described as a further expansion of expansion plans previously announced during the spring for its Banner Boswell Medical Center, 10401 W. Thunderbird Blvd., Sun City.

Partnering with the Sun Health Foundation, Banner announced in March a $60 million project to construct of a new emergency room at the campus, which would expand the facility to provide faster access to emergency medical treatment.

The Banner Health Board of Directors approved a further expansion of the project to add a new six-story patient tower shell, adding $46 million to the cost for a total construction value of $106 million.

Completing the two projects simultaneously will limit service disruptions at the hospital and reduce overall construction costs, according to a company press release.

Banner Boswell CEO Debbie Flores praised the board’s choice to combine the efforts.

“I am thrilled about the board’s decision to move forward,” Ms. Flores stated. “Their decision reflects the confidence they have in our physicians, employees and volunteers, and it further demonstrates Banner’s unwavering commitment to this community. This is huge news for our patients and the community we serve.”

To raise the additional funding needed for the combined project, foundation officials will seek help from the community.

Todd Hornback, campaign chair of the Generosity for Generations Campaign and the vice chair of the Sun Health Foundation Board of Trustees explained his group’s role in fostering community support for the planned expansion.

“In support of future plans at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers, Sun Health Foundation is launching the Generosity for Generations Campaign to raise and invest $48 million in philanthropic funding for special initiatives,” stated Mr. Hornback. “The community is invited to the upcoming launch event, where campaign details will be unveiled along with plans to transform Banner Boswell’s emergency department and level IV trauma center, plus important emergency and safety information will be provided.”

The health care institution will focus on a wide range of initiatives, including emergency services, community health and wellness, women and infant services, spine health and orthopedics, cancer care, and future cardiac and cancer care needs, according to Mr. Hornback.

Sun Health officials will reveal more about their fundraising efforts, as well as details of the expansion plans, in a public presentation entitled “Our Vibrant Future: Generosity for Generations,” which will be repeated hourly 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Lakeview United Methodist Church, 10298 W. Thunderbird Blvd., Sun City.

Mr. Hornback praised area residents for their historic support of the foundation and their role in supporting Banner’s mission in the community.

“Continuing the legacy of superior health that began by community residents more than 50 years ago, Sun Health Foundation is honored to continue its role as the philanthropic link between the community and Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers and the Banner Sun Health Research Institute,” Hornback added. “We’re proud to be a part of Banner Health’s life-changing work.”

Aiming for a summer 2020 opening, the emergency department expansion will provide separated entrances for walk-in patients and ambulances, in contrast to the current layout.

The project will also increase the emergency department bed capacity by a third – from 42 beds to 56 – to reduce wait times and allow for a similar increase in service capacity, from 45,000 patients currently served annually up to an estimated 60,000.

The new patient tower, slated for completion in the fall of 2020, will rise above the expanded emergency room to create a new main entry point for the hospital.

The first floor will comprise the main lobby, gift shop, retail pharmacy, admitting desk and chapel, while five additional floors above will remain as shell space reserved for future expansion to add in-patient capacity at the hospital.

The project will also convert the existing 17,000-square-foot emergency department into a new unit for patients needing short-term observation, while creating a shelled space for addition of a future cardiac catheterization lab.

Preconstruction demolition started in the and is slated for completion in spring 2019, when the existing emergency department parking structure is scheduled for demolition.

Tower construction will commence shortly after and hospital officials aim to complete the entire effort in time to celebrate the facility’s 50th anniversary in 2020.


The Abrazo Community Health Network celebrated its 15th anniversary in September and announced plans for a multi-million-dollar expansion of its Abrazo West Campus, 13677 W. McDowell Road, Goodyear.

Slated to begin in 2019, the project will add a 12-bed nursing unit, which will be constructed in existing shelled space. The new unit will increase capacity for telemetry patients and increase flexibility to serve medical and surgical patients at the facility, according to a company release.

According to Abrazo CEO Frank Molinaro, the Goodyear campus has continued to evolve with its community and the new nursing unit is just another example of that evolution.

“Abrazo West Campus opened 15 years ago as a small community hospital and has evolved into a thriving medical center serving the West Valley and beyond,” Mr. Molinaro stated. “This addition is another step in providing the resources needed to deliver on our mission to help people live happier, healthier lives.”

Since it opened in 2003, the West Campus has added complex services, such as a level 1 trauma program, neurosurgery, electrophysiology and interventional cardiology, he said.

The facility currently has 188 licensed beds served by 779 physicians, 1,052 employees and 230 volunteers, according to Keith Jones, a communications manager for Abrazo.

The Goodyear campus also provides comprehensive orthopedics, neurosurgery, robotic-assisted surgery, cardiovascular, obstetrics, women’s health, and wound care with hyperbaric treatment and therapy services, as well as 24-hour emergency care, he stated.

The West Campus will also be home to Abrazo’s new internal medicine and general surgery residency programs, which are set to launch in July 2019.

According to Akil Loli, M.D., designated institutional official for graduate medical education with Abrazo, the residency programs will help the hospital attract and retain future physicians to serve the West Valley community.

“Expanding Abrazo’s graduate medical education programs will help meet the need for future generations of physicians in our communities,” stated Dr. Loli. “Through our local physician leadership, Abrazo will have direction over the curriculum and residents’ hands-on training to suit our community’s needs and ensure quality and patient safety standards are met.”

In addition to the trauma center in Goodyear, resident doctors will also train with cardiac and vascular specialists at the Abrazo Heart Hospital in Phoenix and in other disciplines at Abrazo Arrowhead, 8701 N. 67th Ave., Glendale.

“Residents will have real-world learning opportunities at our facilities,” Mr. Molinaro stated. “We are committed to providing quality care and a safe environment for each of our patients, as well as effective learning opportunities for our residents.

The company also added a new biplane interventional radiology suite at the West Campus in May.

The system provides a highly detailed, three-dimensional view of blood vessels and a cross-section issue of soft tissues to aid in diagnosis and treatment of conditions requiring therapies and procedures, such as revascularization of vessels, ablations, embolization and interventional neurology.

The new system also gives doctors a less-invasive way to produce images to help them treat aneurysm, artery blockages, brain and neck tumors and other life-threatening conditions.

“With more and more patients choosing Abrazo West, it’s important to meet our community’s expectations for high quality care and an excellent patient experience,” Mr. Molinaro stated.

Honor Health

Announced in July, Honor Health will open its sixth hospital in the Valley with a new facility under construction in north Phoenix.

Located at I-17 and Dove Valley Road, the hospital breaks ground next months and is slated to open in September 2020 adjacent to the Sonoran Health and Emergency Center, which opened in 2013.

The hospital will open with more than 40 beds, with the ability to expand to nearly 80 beds based on community needs.

When fully built out, the north Phoenix facility will comprise the centerpiece of the Honor Health Sonoran Medical Center, according to HonorHealth CEO Todd LaPorte.

“We’re delivering on the commitment we made to the community in 2013, when we opened the Sonoran Health and Emergency Center on this campus,” stated Todd LaPorte. “It’s always been our mission to grow with the communities we serve. As a non-profit, locally run hospital system, we’re thrilled to take this next step for this vibrant area.”

When completed, the medical center will include:

  • 24-hour emergency care for patients of all ages
  • Comprehensive obstetrical and gynecological care, including prenatal and postpartum care, labor and delivery services, and a level II neonatal intensive care unit
  • Clinical expertise and state-of-the-art technology in joint replacement surgery, minimally invasive orthopedic and spine surgery, and variety of general surgery procedures, treatments and therapies
  • An ambulatory surgery center with physician offices next to the hospital
  • Additional services, such as breast health and medical imaging

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