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New hospital to open in West Valley

A sign marking the location of the new St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center is shown. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The West Valley will soon be home to a new hospital.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Wednesday, where Dignity Health unveiled the name of its new facility.

"St. Joseph's Westgate Medical Center. I kind of like that ring," said Linda Hunt, Dignity Health Arizona's President and CEO.

The new hotel will be located near Glendale Avenue and the Loop 101 freeway, a short distance from the Westgate City Center, Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium.

Hunt said the $44 million hospital will bring much needed healthcare to the West Valley.

"It will have 24 inpatient beds, an emergency room and two operating rooms," she said. "It will offer diagnostic and imaging services, and initially will employ 200 fulltime people."

The hospital will have the capacity to expand to 200 beds as it grows.

Hunt said that there will be other structures on the 35-acre medical campus.

"We are planning for a medical office building, as well as outpatient imaging and other medical providers to co-locate on this campus with us. This will be a vibrant medical center in the heart of the West Valley."

The hospital is scheduled to open in March 2014.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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