Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Town officials and representatives of Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital celebrated the opening of the new pediatric clinic at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center last Thursday, ushering in new access to critically needed specialties for seriously ill kids in the East Valley.

Families with children in Gilbert and surrounding communities have better access to a broad range of pediatric health services now that Phoenix Children’s Specialty Clinic opened last week at the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.

During a ribbon cutting for the clinic last Thursday, Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels underscored the importance of a closer facility for parents of children with complex medical needs such as juvenile diabetes, cancer and heart defects.

“We really can’t live without the incredible services that are offered for our community and our state,” Daniels said. “Having something closer to home means they can still care for their other children and they can still work and still have a quality of life.”

The new three-story, 45-square-foot clinic offers care in 11 key areas: behavioral health, cardiology, endocrinology, general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, head and neck-related injuries and illnesses, pediatric gynecology and plastic surgery. 

Oncology services will be added next year, around the time when Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital open the new Women’s and Children’s Pavilion on the Mercy Gilbert campus.

That state-of-the-art medical facility, designed to care for women and children in the East Valley, arises from a partnership between Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s.

The 378,000-square-foot pavilion will include 24 labor and delivery rooms operated by Mercy Gilbert and have the capability to care for high-risk births and have 48 post-partum beds.

Phoenix Children’s will operate a 60-bed Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a 24-bed pediatric emergency department, six pediatric operating rooms and 24 pediatric beds within the new pavilion.

That facility will compliment the new clinic, which speakers last week hailed as filling a long-term need in Gilbert and the far East Valley.

Underscoring the significance of location was Gilbert mom Brittany Miller, whose 10-year-old daughter, the youngest of three children, has had to see 16 different specialists at Phoenix Children’s since she was 5 weeks old.

Terming herself a “medical mom,” Miller took note of the fact that it took her only 11 minutes to reach the new clinic from her home. She described her daughter’s plight, saying “Her brain didn’t form correctly when she was born, so it causes issues like cerebral palsy, epilepsy, heart conditions

“She’s so sweet and has the personality that we love so much,” Miller added. “She’s taught me how to fight really well with insurance companies.”

Miller praised the care her daughter has received over the years from Phoenix Children’s specialists and echoed Daniels’ relief that they are now much closer to Gilbert families.

“Having a world-class facility here with doctors who I trust and have the Phoenix Children’s mindset and focus on families just gives me a lot of comfort,” Miller said. “And I know it will for a lot of the families, many families that live in the East Valley that have children with medical needs.”

“This facility is going to be a great blessing,” she added.

Many of the clinic’s staff – from physicians and nurses to administrators – also live in the East Valley. 

The new clinic means that Phoenix Children’s now offers 30 different specialties at 13 East Valley sites.

Phoenix Children’s CEO Robert Meyer noted that represents a marked change from even 15 years ago, when the growing region was in sore need of adequate facilities for children who needed medical care.