Valleywise Health, Maricopa County’s public teaching health care system, recently celebrated a significant milestone by reaching 50% completion on the new Valleywise Health Medical Center. The 673,000-square-foot, 10-story building is scheduled to open in October 2023 and replace the current medical center at 24th Street and Roosevelt in Phoenix, which opened in 1971.

“Care Reimagined is coming true in a way we never imagined,” said Mary Rose Garrido Wilcox, Chairman of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors. “The service we can provide to our patients and their families will be tremendous.”

The new medical center will boast 233 private patient rooms, ten operating rooms, two interventional radiology areas, two catheterization labs, a dedicated procedural floor and a rooftop and ground level helipad, as well as additional specialty care areas.

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“A monumental effort has gone into the project thus far, and certainly quite a bit ahead of us to get to the finish line,” said Justin Storts, Senior Project Manager at Vanir, the construction management agency for the project. “The building will finally match the quality of care that the community is receiving, and I know it will serve the Valleywise Health team greatly for many, many years to come.”

Additionally, the entire fourth floor will be dedicated to the renowned Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health.

“To see [Burn Director] Dr. Kevin Foster and his team move into that floor and everything that will mean for their ability to provide that special care to burn patients is something I’m really excited about,” said Phil Glenn, Project Director at Kitchell.

A lot of work has been completed since general contractor Kitchell broke ground in February 2020. Nearly 8 million pounds of steel was brought in to complete the structural steel frame, and the decks are poured for the entire building. There are currently about 450 workers on site, with an expected daily peak of 850.

“To be at that 50% milestone of work is amazing and a huge testament to the team and what we’ve been able to do together,” said Glenn. “When you’re working on something day to day, you’re so focused on specific issues that you don’t notice how much has been done. To take that step back and look at everything is super impressive.”

Moving forward over the next two years, passersby can expect to see the scaffolding removed, the building enclosed, and exterior finishes completed. Inside, permanent power and air conditioning will be installed, as well as cabinetry, doors and other areas will reach their final condition.

Construction for the new medical center started less than a month before the COVID-19 pandemic reached Arizona. Despite the usual setbacks many industries experienced, Kitchell is still on track to complete the project on time and on budget.

“One of the bigger challenges that we continue to face is related to the supply chain”, said Glenn. “Lead times have extended dramatically, so things that would normally be on the shelf ready to get in a few days are taking 6 to 8 weeks to get. We’ve really had to adjust to make sure we have the building materials when we need them.”

Funding for the new medical center came as a result of the resounding response of voters approving Proposition 480 in 2014, which provided Valleywise Health (formerly Maricopa Integrated Health System) more than $900 million for transforming the Valley’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care.

In addition to a new medical center, the Care Reimagined project also includes the opening of several outpatient health centers across Maricopa County. Three facilities have already come online in the last few years, including Valleywise Comprehensive Health Center – Peoria, and two Valleywise Community Health Centers; one in North Phoenix and one in South Phoenix/Laveen. Still to come are two additional community health centers: West Maryvale is scheduled to open near N. 75th Ave and W. Thomas Rd. in November 2021, and Mesa near E. Main St. and S. Stapley Dr. in January 2022.

“Buildings are popping up all over Maricopa County,” said Chairman Wilcox. “It’s a great matter of pride for the whole community when we see these magnificent structures that will house exceptional health care for every person who walks through the doors.”

You can learn more about the Care Reimagined initiative by clicking here.