Northwest Valley Republic Growth Spurt PCH Northwest Valley
Phoenix Children's Hospital is bringing pediatric care within the reach of Northwest Valley parents.
The hospital is opening the Northwest Valley Specialty and Urgent Care Center on 51st Avenue, north of the Loop 101, next month. A bigger facility is planned for Avondale in 2011.
"After a recession, population growth continues," said Robert Meyer, hospital CEO. "We looked at all the projections and the growth will be there."
Hospital officials said about 300,000 children live in the West Valley, a number they expected to see jump by 14 percent in the next five years.
It is expected to serve patients in Surprise, Glendale, Peoria and northwest Phoenix.
The $3.3 million, 6,000-square-foot facility is in an existing medical complex. Meyer said the hospital wanted a minimum of 5 acres for a 32,000-square-foot facility like the one it has in Mesa but all the available land along the highway was gone.
Hospital spokeswoman Debra Stevens said urgent care will be offered in the evenings and on weekends, after appointment-only pediatric services are provided.
Meyer expects the clinic will treat 1,000 children a month, similar to the Mesa facility.
In a year and a half, the hospital plans to open a 32,000-square-foot specialty and urgent-care center on 15 acres it owns near McDowell Avenue and Interstate 10 in Avondale. Meyer said two buildings will be constructed, one for the hospital and one for private medical providers. There is room to build a hospital, but there currently aren't plans to do so, Meyer said.
Phoenix Children's Hospital is in the midst of a growth spurt.
In the past five years, the hospital has more than quadrupled the number of children it serves, officials said. Last year, a lack of beds meant it turned away 700 children, Meyer said.
"We are getting beds on line as quickly as we can," he said.
The main campus on Thomas Road and 20th Street in Phoenix is undergoing a $588 million expansion that will nearly double the bed capacity to 632, from 345, by 2012. The project also will include expanded diagnostic, treatment and outpatient facilities.
Hospital officials say the project is critical given that Maricopa County's pediatric population is expected to grow to 1.5 million, from the 900,000 today.
Even with the expansion, the hospital projects that there will be a shortage of 800 beds and 200 pediatric specialists in the Valley by 2030.
Phoenix Children's Hospital represents 30 percent, or the lion's share, of the pediatric market, Meyer said.