Arizona Biosciences News

Phoenix pursuing hospital for downtown bioscience campus

Summary:

In the wake of last week's announcement of a joint ASU/UA biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix, city leaders wasted no time in pursuing their next major goal of adding a hospital to downtown's growing biosciences center.

Full Story:

Building or relocating a hospital in downtown Phoenix has been a hot topic among Valley hospital administrators and city officials in the wake of the last week's announcement of a joint biomedical campus between ASU and UA. The Phoenix mayor's office and local health-care administrators having been engaged in talks about building a hospital between the future medical school campus and the headquarters of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Though conversations have been called "preliminary" by participants, ambition runs high in the medical community to nurture the fledgling biotech presence and the future medical school with a downtown hospital. The geographic proximity of the prospective hospital to TGen and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus—the site of the future medical school—located on the Phoenix-owned land parcel north of the Bank One Ballpark, would allow for top-notch collaboration among researchers, physicians, and medical students, and possibly become the hub for a sprawling medical campus in the long-term.

Though details are scarce, with capital funding and cranes just specks on the horizon, there is a sense of urgency among health-care and government officials who see the bioscience industry as the Valley's golden key for economic and cultural revitalization.

"I am not going to wait on this," Gordon told the Arizona Republic in an interview. "We are going to have a medical school, and we are going to have a hospital or hospitals within close proximity to that medical school. We have to know now, or relatively soon, who is going to be a part of that campus."

According to the Republic, both Banner Health and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have been involved in talks with the mayor's office. The paper reported that Banner is exploring building a new cancer hospital and St. Joseph's is considering expanding or moving its campus. The Business Journal reported that the Maricopa Medical Center has also been privy to discussions about a new county hospital on the nearly 30-acre parcel of land.

The Republic reported that the day that Governor Janet Napolitano announced the UA medical school expansion in Phoenix, city officials met with university presidents Peter Likens of UA and Michael Crow of ASU, as well as representatives from Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix Baptist Hospital and Medical Center, Banner Health, St Joseph's, the V.A. Medical Center, Maricopa Health System, and the Mayo Clinic Hospital to discuss the direction a new teaching hospital or collaboration may take.

"It was a very positive meeting and energizing," Phoenix City Councilman Greg Stanton told the Business Journal. "It was good to see the hospital systems were all on board with a need for the new medical school. As for a new hospital, we're going to explore all options."


For more information:

"Hospitals vie for prime downtown spot ," Business Journal, 08/13/2004

"City considering downtown hospital," Arizona Republic, 08/14/2004