Blog Archives

UA seeks new downtown Phoenix partner as St. Joe’s links with Creighton

[Source: Angela Gonzales, Phoenix Business Journal] — The University of Arizona is canceling talks with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center to jointly develop a cancer center in downtown Phoenix now that St. Joe’s has forged a solid academic affiliation with Creighton University School of Medicine.  Dr. William Crist, UA’s vice president for health affairs, said he is concerned there won’t be enough room for UA medical students because St. Joe’s agreed to make Creighton’s 84 medical students a priority.  “We’re not mad,” he said.  “We’re still friends.  But there can only be one primary affiliate partner.”

Suzanne Pfister, vice president of external affairs for St. Joe’s, said she’s disappointed.  “But we’ve still got a number of collaborations with them,” she said, adding that St. Joe’s will continue to grow its cancer program.

Crist said UA has solid partnerships with the majority of the Valley’s hospitals, including Banner Health, Carl T. Hayden Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System, Mayo Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Scottsdale Healthcare.  His job will be to see which of those facilities will be willing to partner with UA to help finance the expansion of its cancer center in Phoenix.  “Plenty of people are interested,” Crist said.  “We are talking to a lot of people to get the best plan.”

He said the cancer center most likely would be built near the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which houses the medical school and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.  He envisions an outpatient center that would be anywhere from 200,000 square feet to 250,000 square feet, offering medical oncology, laboratory testing, imaging and radiation therapy.  “We have relationships with almost every health system in town in terms of rotating medical students,” Crist said.  “The only question is who has the capacity to be a primary affiliate partner when we expand and develop more than ever before.”  [Note: Read the full article at UA seeks new downtown Phoenix partner as St. Joe’s links with Creighton.]

Downtown Phoenix hospital talks revived

[Source: Angela Gonzales, Phoenix Business Journal] — University of Arizona and Maricopa Integrated Health System officials have resumed talks to create a clinical partnership that could lead to a new hospital on the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.  UA has been looking for a hospital partner ever since Banner Health in January 2008 walked away from its plan to build a hospital on the campus.  For years, UA has sent its medical school students from Tucson for clinical rotations at MIHS’ Maricopa Medical Center, but the most recent discussions are to create a formal agreement.

Betsey Bayless, CEO of MIHS, confirmed those discussions were taking place.  She will be meeting with the MIHS board later this month to determine if members want her to move forward with negotiations.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Cancer hospital moving to Gilbert (not downtown Phoenix)

Banner Gateway Medical Center, Gilbert, AZ

[Source: The Associated Press] — Banner Health has announced a partnership with the Houston-based M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to create a new hospital and outpatient-treatment center in Gilbert.  The proposed $90 million center would be built on the campus of Banner’s Gateway Medical Center and is scheduled for a late 2011 opening.  Banner Chief Executive Officer Peter Fine said Banner considered several health-care partners and decided it had similar goals with M.D. Anderson.

The deal also means that Banner will no longer pursue plans to build a cancer hospital in downtown Phoenix. Banner had discussed with the University of Arizona the possibility of developing a downtown teaching hospital and cancer hospital that would anchor the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.  However, those talks ended months ago.

Developer floats cancer center in suburbs, not downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry and Edythe Jensen, Arizona Republic] — An influential developer wants the University of Arizona to consider putting a sought-after cancer center in a suburb, not downtown Phoenix.  Officials from UA, which would oversee the future cancer center, have downplayed the developer’s queries in Chandler and Surprise.  Patients need a center in a sprawling, resort-like setting, and Phoenix doesn’t have enough room for that, said the developer, Tom Hornaday.   But Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon isn’t taking any chances and wants UA to reaffirm its commitment to build the center in his city.  Gordon has reasons to be worried:

  • Last year, Phoenix lost to Goodyear on a $70 million cancer center that was to be built near Loop 101 and Thomas Road.  This year, talks collapsed for a Banner teaching hospital on UA’s fledgling downtown Phoenix medical-school campus.
  • Chandler and Surprise are jockeying to be players in the state’s bioscience scene.
  • There are new Valley political players, and leaders at UA, who were not part of the early planning for Phoenix’s 28-acre biomedical hub.

Eventually the area, bounded by Garfield, Monroe, Fifth and Seventh streets, would share a hospital, researchers, and the three state universities.  Already, UA’s medical school and Translational Genomics Research Institute and a unit from the ASU engineering college have taken root there.  State lawmakers recently approved $470 million for future campus construction.

Gordon wants UA to reaffirm its four-year-old commitment to put a branch of the Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix.  “While outsiders are trying to put together a speculative real-estate deal, it risks slowing down and diverting the attention necessary to continue the momentum to build the biomedical campus,” Gordon said, noting the state Legislature and other groups have committed more than $1 billion to the downtown project.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Houston, Arizona facilities may begin cancer center for Valley

[Source: Kate Nolan, Arizona Republic] — A major Houston cancer center may collaborate with Arizona’s largest health-care provider on cancer care in Phoenix.  According to sources from both institutions, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Banner Health are in talks that may lead to a comprehensive cancer center downtown.  The Valley already boasts branches of two major cancer clinics in Scottsdale, the Arizona Cancer Center (based in Tucson) and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (based in Rochester, Minn.).

Like M.D. Anderson, they are among the 39 elite comprehensive cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute.  In all, the NCI funds 62 cancer centers.  Plans for a full-scale downtown Phoenix cancer center have been in the works before.  A proposed collaboration between Arizona Cancer Center, Maricopa Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare, Banner Health, and others for a downtown facility in conjunction with the University of Arizona College of Medicine never got past the talking stage.  Later talks between the Arizona Cancer Center and Banner Health ended last year without an agreement.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

UA solicits plans for downtown Phoenix hospital

[Source: Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic] — The University of Arizona has contacted nearly every major hospital in the Phoenix area with one major request: Send us your ideas for a new downtown teaching hospital.  The call for ideas comes after talks between UA and Banner Health failed to a yield a deal to build a new teaching hospital that would anchor Phoenix’s emerging biomedical campus.  Arizona leaders envision a downtown hospital that trains doctors, advances medical technology, and provides a setting for cutting-edge medical techniques that spin out of such nearby research institutions as TGen.

UA has solicited proposals from Maricopa Integrated Health System, Catholic Healthcare West, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Health, Sun Health, Mayo Clinic, and other hospital groups.  The university also plans to ask out-of-state hospitals to submit ideas, but no paperwork has been forwarded to non-Arizona hospitals.  UA will begin reviewing proposals March 1.  The process amounts to a brainstorming session.  UA and the Arizona Board of Regents want new, fresh ideas in an era when academic hospitals are difficult to build because of limited federal and state funds for such a project. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]