A new, multispecialty pediatric and women’s center on the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center campus will help patients and families deal with medical needs associated with high-risk pregnancies, as well as neonatal and pediatric care, and stay closer to home.
Mercy Gilbert is partnering with Chandler Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix on the center. The grand opening will be Oct. 14. Mercy Gilbert is just off Val Vista Drive and the Santan Loop 202.
As part of the collaboration, St. Joseph’s Medical Group physicians will work with Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert doctors to provide care to patients. St. Joseph’s sub-specialists will see patients at the Mercy Gilbert office, saving families a trip to downtown Phoenix.
“It’s been very busy in downtown Phoenix (at St. Joseph’s), and we identified the need for an East Valley location over the past two years,” said Dr. Stephen Popnal, a pediatric cardiologist at Mercy Gilbert. “We have more and more young families in the East Valley who are taking the trek 20-30 miles into the Phoenix area where they get their congenital screens on their babies. And if they have congenital heart defects, they have to have all of their follow-ups and whatnot over at the downtown campus.”
The center features four examination rooms and two ultrasound machines for expectant mothers and others with congenital heart disease, he said.
“It got kind of cumbersome for some of the kids with heart murmurs, or kids with chest pains or fainting episodes to have to be referred over to the regional center for pediatric cardiology, so we identified that it would probably be prudent to have a satellite office in the East Valley,” Popnal said. “We will have the cardiology aspect of things on Mondays and Thursdays, and then the perinatal aspect of things on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Essentially we wanted to make sure we’re available to the community at the beginning and end of the week for both services.”
Perinatology and pediatric cardiology patients will be among the first served by the center. Pediatric patients with conditions such as abnormal EKGs, heart murmurs, chest pain and irregular heartbeat will be seen at the center. Pregnant women will have access to genetic counseling, genetic amniocentesis and the ability to be treated for obstetrical and medical complications of pregnancy.
“It also benefits all the local emergency rooms that see kids who may have chest pain or fainting episodes,” Popnal said. “They’re awfully busy with the influenza and the H1N1 (virus), and they can triage them to a cardiology office so they can be seen in an appropriate environment.”
Linda Hunt, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s and service area leader for Catholic Healthcare West Arizona, said the center will be a “win-win” for patients.
“They’ll be able to stay under the care of their doctor and home hospital while obtaining the specialized care that they need,” she said.