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"We consider it an honor to serve, and look forward to the next 10 years and beyond."

Ten years ago this month, Banner Health and our East Valley community celebrated, with great fanfare, the opening of Cardon Children’s Medical Center, a beautiful seven-story hospital in Mesa built “through the eyes of a child.” 

Since the opening, Cardon Children’s has had the honor of caring for thousands of kids. In fact, we have had more than 105,000 pediatric patient admissions and nearly 405,000 patient visits to our pediatric emergency room over the past 10 years.

 In 2017, the hospital was designated a Level 1 Trauma Center for pediatric patients, capable of handling the most severe cases.

Many people won’t remember, but, prior to Cardon Children’s opening, Banner Children’s Hospital was a single wing inside Banner Desert Medical Center.

 Excellent pediatric care was provided there, but the space was not optimal, nor was it adequate. 

It was not unusual for pediatric patients to be sent out of the area – sometimes out of state – for a needed pediatric hospital bed. 

There was a pediatric hospital capacity shortage here in the early 2000s, particularly during peak flu and RSV seasons.

Banner Health saw the need and invested more than $300 million to ensure that children in the East Valley, around the state and, even in neighboring states, had access to the best pediatric care possible in a state-of-the-art facility.

Over the years and recently, Banner Children’s has recruited some of the very best pediatric specialists to help us carry out our important mission. Recent additions include:

Dr. Gordon Cohen, medical director of the Congenital Heart Surgery Center, is an internationally recognized leader in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. He led Seattle Children’s Hospital from a nonsurgical cardiology program to a top program for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.  

Dr. Emmanuel Katsanis, chief of Banner Children’s/U of A state-wide Pediatric Blood and Cancer Program. He also is internationally recognized for his research in transplant immunology, and is the leader of the Banner/University of Arizona Stem Cell Transplant Program for adults and children. 

Dr. David Moss, a pediatric neurosurgeon who is considered one of the most skilled, talented and knowledgeable neurosurgeons in the Southwestern U.S.

Dr. Sandra Buttram, a pediatric intensivist with specialized training and expertise in neuro-critical care and ECMO.  

Dr. Hiep Nguyen, an internationally recognized leader in pediatric urology and, in particular, robotic surgery.

Dr. Mark Joseph, medical director of Pediatric Nephrology, a nationally recognized leader in his field.

Ten years seems to go by in the blink of an eye.

 It seems like only yesterday that we were welcoming our first patients, and we’ve celebrated many important milestones since then.

 We are proud the hospital has grown in stature and prominence, but, importantly, we are also proud to have remained a comforting and caring place for sick and injured children in their time of need.

Our greatest pride is in our staff – the dedicated physicians, nurses and other medical caregivers who give selflessly day in and day out. We’re not just celebrating a building when we mark this 10-year anniversary… We’re celebrating our Cardon Children’s pediatric professionals, past and present, because without them we would not be where we are today.

On behalf of everyone at Cardon Children’s, I want to thank the community for putting your trust in us when your precious children need medical care. We do not take that responsibility lightly, and we understand you hold us to the highest level of professionalism. We consider it an honor to serve, and look forward to the next 10 years and beyond. 

Laura Robertson is chief executive officer, Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Desert Medical Center.

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