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MIHS Outlines Healthcare Projects

Maricopa Medical Center will be replaced after voters approved a $935M bond initiative last year for Maricopa Integrated Health System. Photo credit: Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal

By Luci Scott for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

The 449-bed Maricopa Medical Center at 2601 E. Roosevelt will be demolished and replaced by a new, slightly smaller hospital. Also, a new behavioral health hospital will be built, as will several new inpatient clinics, these probably in the East Valley, West Valley and north Phoenix.

The projects, which could total up to $935M, are in the tentative plans of the board of the Maricopa Integrated Health System, which oversees current clinics and the Maricopa Medical Center, a premier teaching facility.

Last November, 64% percent of voters approved Proposition 480, which authorized the board of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District, the same as the MIHS board, to issue and sell general obligation bonds for numerous capital investments.

Up to $935M in bonds can be issued.

For more than 140 years, Maricopa Integrated Health System has been Arizona’s only public teaching hospital and the safety net health system.

“The capital investments in new patient care facilities are tremendous opportunities for the community,” President and CEO Steve Purves said in an e-mail.

In addition to the construction jobs that will be created by the capital projects, the economic impact of what MIHS does – advanced patient care, medical education and clinical training – is significant to Maricopa County and Arizona.

“The bond election has really helped shed light in the community about what we do and the value we bring,” Purves said.

Three types of facilities

Proposition 480 describes three types of facilities: outpatient health, behavioral health and acute care.

The projects within these three categories will comprise a substantial portfolio of projects.

“It can be a bit daunting to think about them all,” Purves wrote.

Since the election last November, the district board has been meeting regularly to discuss how best to approach the work ahead.

The board is looking at best practices and studying integrated project management approaches to prepare for managing the numerous projects and commercial partners in a highly organized and collaborative environment.

The district board is engaged in a comprehensive planning process, which will result in a plan and timeline for the staging of the large project portfolio.

Contractors encouraged to sign up

Until that time line has been developed and adopted, the board encourages companies to sign up online to be on the contract procurement mailing list.

Susan Doria, senior vice president for strategic planning, said the board is considering where to locate a new behavioral health hospital.

“We have to explore options where it would be located. Placing it on the campus where the inpatient hospital is would make sense.”

The new acute-care hospital will have slightly fewer beds than the existing one.

“The design will lend itself to greater efficiency, reducing the number of beds while continuing to meet the needs of the community,” Doria said.

The board is considering upgrading existing ambulatory outpatient services and adding new facilities to meet the demand for primary and specialty care. They would not be on the campus on Roosevelt but rather in geographical areas throughout Maricopa County where the needs are. Today MIHS has 12 health centers across the Valley.

There is no concrete timeline for decisions yet.

“The board is studying that right now,” Doria said. “They’re continuing to look at how do you manage a portfolio project, what is their stewardship role in all of that, and what would be an appropriate timeline for conducting this work.”

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