Saturday, January 08, 2005

Health News- St. Joe's, Grand Canyon University combine on nursing school / Banner Mesa hospital closing

St. Joe's, Grand Canyon University combine on nursing school - 2005-01-07 - The Business Journal of Phoenix: Grand Canyon University (GCU) and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have created the GCU College of Nursing at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, in an effort to address Arizona's shortage of registered professional nurses. "This unique partnership brings together the best of two committed, faith-based institutions; one of higher learning and one of health care service to the community," said Patty White, St. Joseph's chief operating officer, in a statement released late Thursday. Banner Mesa hospital closing By Jennifer Ryan, Tribune Banner Health will close its oldest East Valley hospital and build a new one in Gilbert in 2007 in an attempt to avoid massive renovation costs at Banner Mesa Medical Center while capitalizing on surging growth to the southeast, Banner officials said Thursday. Banner Mesa CEO Becky Kuhn will take the helm of the new, full-service Gilbert hospital when it opens with 165 beds on the southwest corner of Higley Road and U.S. 60. The $189 million acute-care facility will focus on obstetrics, general pediatrics, emergency services, general surgery and other services. A big demand will likely come from growing families, Kuhn said. "Clearly no city in this country is growing as Gilbert is growing," she said. "When we look at the community and being able to be served by another major medical center, it makes sense to position any new hospital in a growing area." By contrast, Banner Mesa, near Country Club Drive and Brown Road, serves a more stable population in northwest Mesa. Banner found that many patients in the community were traveling less than 12 miles away to Banner Desert and Banner Baywood medical centers in Mesa, helping to make Banner Mesa and its 166 staffed beds the least crowded of its sister facilities in the East Valley, Kuhn said. But the key factor in deciding to shut down Banner Mesa, formerly known as Mesa Lutheran Hospital, was the estimated $138 million needed to completely restore electrical, plumbing and heating and ventilation systems in the 41-year-old facility, said Dan Green, a Banner Health spokesman. The upgrades would be required for the kind of technology Banner Mesa would need to become a more modern hospital. "That kind of investment approaches the cost of a new hospital," Green said. "It just didn’t make sense to make that kind of investment."

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