Phoenix Children’s to open Avondale campus, meeting needs of southwest Valley

Jul 19, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 8:32 am

PHOENIX — Phoenix Children’s is opening an emergency department on July 26 at its Avondale campus to help fill the need for pediatric services in the rapidly expanding southwest Valley.

In January 2023, the campus implemented a multispecialty clinic. Prior to that, the site operated primarily as an urgent care facility.

“This building was really after-hours, so the urgent care would start at 4:00 in the afternoon, run until 10:00 maybe 11:00 at night but it wasn’t really set up, it’s a first-come, first-serve model, which is what urgent care is,” Robert Meyer, the president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

That left out the ability to triage patients, which is something that will change with the addition of the new emergency department.

“This is a full-service, 24/7 emergency room. It’s always open, and then the level of things that can be taken care of here is greatly expanded, because there’s full imaging, pharmacy, lab, in addition to the pediatric emergency medical doctors,” Meyer said.

Meeting the needs of the community

Having an emergency facility built solely for kids is imperative, according to Dr. Christina Conrad, Medical Director for Phoenix Children’s Avondale Emergency Department.

“Kids are not just small adults. They have different needs both developmentally and medically,” Conrad said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“They need clinicians who are specially trained in pediatrics, nurses who know how to place an I.V. in a child, the right diagnostic equipment for kid-sized fractures, the right sized beds and kid-friendly equipment.”

Conrad explained that outcomes are dramatically better for kids facing life-threatening injuries when they are treated at pediatric emergency departments compared to adult ERs.

For parents who would have had to travel great distances for pediatric emergency care, this offers peace of mind.

Avondale Mayor Ken Weise told KTAR News 92.3 FM about his own experience seeking treatment for his daughter years ago.

“That facility did the best they could, but they were limited on staff, and on resources, and on knowledge, and when they said we need to ship your daughter Downtown, to a facility we had never been to, it was really scary,” Weise said

“So, now having this here years later is a huge thing for residents of Avondale and for the Southwest Valley,” said Weise.

The 35,000-square-foot facility will have 40 treatment rooms and will be able to support up to 50,000 visits per year, which will also lessen the burden of other nearby hospitals. Phoenix Children’s is also working on expanding to other parts of the Valley, including a new multispecialty clinic opening this year at Phoenix Children’s Arrowhead campus with a pediatric hospital coming to that campus next year.

Construction is also underway in the East Valley to create a five-story hospital on the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Campus, which will feature the Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which will offer pediatric and maternity care, according to a press release.

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Phoenix Children’s to open Avondale campus, meeting needs of southwest Valley