Thriving Mercy Gilbert turning 2 - East Valley Tribune: News

Thriving Mercy Gilbert turning 2

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 6:43 pm | Updated: 9:41 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Gilbert's first full-service hospital turns two years old today - and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is growing as fast as a toddler, with a tripling of employees and a boom in services.

GRAPHIC: View Mercy Gilbert's growth

Gilbert's first full-service hospital turns 2 years old today - and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is growing as fast as a toddler, with a tripling of employees and a boom in services.

GRAPHIC: View Mercy Gilbert's growth

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"We clearly have fulfilled a huge community need," said Laurie Eberst, president and CEO. "And it continues to grow. I think in every respect we have surpassed our goals."

Click to view Mercy Gilbert's growth

Eberst attributes that faster-than-expected growth to the fact that Mercy Gilbert was the first large, full-service hospital to open its doors in the booming town, on June 5, 2006.

Gilbert Hospital, which at the time had been largely an emergency department, opened in February 2006.

To celebrate the anniversary, Mercy Gilbert's 930-member staff is taking group photos this week. That's three times the employees the hospital opened with - and a photo of both teams of employees will be on display.

Eberst says it's a clue that the town could indeed create a supply of high-paying medical jobs for residents who now often have to commute to other cities for work.

The hospital has also seen dramatic increases in hospital admissions, a near tripling in births and a doubling of emergency room visits. Eberst said this is going to continue, as the hospital gets more services online, with a second wing that recently opened.

Gilbert's third hospital, Banner Gateway Medical Center, has already seen its own dramatic increases since opening in September. Spokeswoman Susan Gordon says the facility has far surpassed its expectations, and in May, in fact, saw a record number of births of 280 babies.

Since opening, Banner Gateway has had 11,123 inpatients, 1,918 births, 26,121 visits to the emergency department, 3,678 surgeries and 6,875 outpatient visits.

The hospital has already grown from 1,000 employees to 1,030, Gordon said.

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