Abrazo Mesa Hospital administrative Director Christy Matlock

Abrazo Mesa Hospital administrative Director Christy Matlock is looking forward to seeing the facility in full operation soon.

Although the new Abrazo Mesa Hospital only has 13 emergency room beds and is smaller than typical hospitals, that’s not stopping its medical staff from the goal of bringing the same level of emergency  and health careservices to East Valley residents.

“The East Valley is inundated with patients that need care,” said Christy Matlock, Abrazo Mesa administrative director. “We’re happy to be part of the East Valley to help offload some of the burdens from the ERs here and also offer new patient care as well.”

Slated to open within the next three to six weeks, the neighborhood hospital will offer 24-hour emergency care and minor surgery. A surgical suite, pharmacy, diagnostic imaging, other emergency medical services and eight inpatient rooms will also be included in the 32,500-square-foot building. 

The hospital is part of the Abrazo Community Health Network, which is a part of Tenet Healthcare. The network currently has several facilities in the West Valley, while the Mesa location will be the first in the East Valley. 

This is the first hospital of smaller scale to be built by Abrazo, although it is building a similar neighborhood facility in Surprise that is slated to open in 2020. 

Matlock, who began her career at Abrazo in 2013 as an emergency room nurse, said that the goal of the Abrazo Mesa is to provide emergency care efficiently and effectively. 

She said that Abrazo has owned the land near Baseline and Recker roads for quite some time. Many of the patients at Abrazo’s other campuses in the Valley travel from the East Valley to receive care, which strengthened Abrazo’s interest in expanding into the East Valley, she added.

“This is a new type of hospital,” said Keith Jones, spokesman for Tenet Healthcare. “The focus is going to be on providing emergency care with hopefully shorter wait times than in the ER, as well as the ability to provide less complex surgical procedures.”  

Staffing the hospital has not been an issue, said both Jones and Matlock, even with the current doctor shortage in Arizona.

Arizona ranks 44th nationally in the total number of primary care physicians, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, and is only meeting 41.7 percent of its primary care physician need. 

“There’s a lot of people very excited to be a part of something new, wanting to be involved from the ground up,” Matlock said. 

The Abrazo Health Community Network has three medical residency programs. They include a family medicine residency that was established in 1978, as well as internal medicine and a general surgery residency, both of which were launched this summer.

These residency programs rotate throughout different Abrazo hospitals throughout the Valley, and Matlock said that the programs may begin rotations at the Abrazo Mesa Hospital in the near future. 

“Doctors who participate in residency programs tend to stay in the communities that they went to the program in,” Jones said, explaining that many former Abrazo medical residents continue to work in the Abrazo network.

The licensing process has been completed and hospital officials are currently waiting on the DEA application to be processed. Matlock said they are eagerly anticipating announcing the official opening date. 

Abrazo Mesa Hospital will be located at 5750 E. Baseline Road.

“As soon as we have the go-ahead, we want to be ready to open the doors and be prepared for anything that comes our way,” Matlock said.

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