History of Phoenix Children's Hospital
Explore our historical timeline in celebration of Phoenix Children's 30th anniversary.
If you have a story about a special moment in our history, you can share it on the site.
In 1978, Phoenix was the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country and growing fast. Though rich in resources, the Valley did not have a dedicated pediatric hospital. Bold leaders from health care, business and the giving community answered the call and began the process of establishing a hospital exclusively for children.
They proposed what was then a revolutionary idea: to locate the children's hospital on the campus of an existing hospital, thereby saving start-up expenses and quickly gaining resource efficiency.
Phoenix Children's opened within Good Samaritan Hospital on September 18, 1983, and operated as an independent hospital there for nearly 20 years under the leadership of Dr. Dan Cloud, who served as founding president until his retirement in 1990. The hospital’s early success was a direct result of the passion, expertise and loyalty of the entire staff, including many doctors and nurses who are still with us today.
Under the direction of President Burl Stamp, Phoenix Children’s faced full beds, steady growth and an opportunity to establish its own campus. Phoenix Children's purchased a 22-acre site, originally occupied by the Phoenix Regional Medical Center, to build Arizona’s first freestanding children's hospital. Construction and renovation of the site began in 2000 and Phoenix Children's opened as a freestanding specialized pediatric hospital in May 2002.
The early 2000s were difficult days for Phoenix Children’s. A variety of impacts outside of our control placed the hospital in peril. Yet it was during this time that our employees made tremendous sacrifices and continued their tradition of hard work and dedication to their patients. So it was no surprise that demand for our special brand of pediatric care continued to grow. Under the leadership of President and CEO Bob Meyer, the hospital recovered quickly and set a strategic plan for growth so that we could continue our proud tradition of meeting the needs of this community.
In 2008, we continued our expansion with specialty and urgent care centers in the East Valley and Northwest Valley. And in a valued collaboration, Ronald McDonald House Charities opened an 18-apartment center on our campus to serve the needs of families seeking our care far from home.
Perhaps the most visible evidence of our expansion can be seen on the Phoenix skyline. In 2008, we broke ground on a $588 million multi-year expansion. Today, our 11-story tower offers a comprehensive, family-centered medical center that allows our doctors and nurses to deliver expert care and healing to our community’s youngest patients. With the expansion, Phoenix Children’s is now one of the ten largest children's hospitals in the country.
To meet the needs of our growing community and to provide the highest level of care throughout our larger campus, Phoenix Children’s pursued a landmark alliance with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center to bring their pediatric programs to Phoenix Children’s. After many months of planning, we welcomed nearly 400 new members to our team -- doctors, nurses and other staff with exceptional pediatric experience and a shared passion for family centered care.
2011 brought even more growth. We opened Phoenix Children's - Yuma Center, offering specialty care on the campus of Yuma Regional Medical Center. Centers in Scottsdale and Avondale are on the horizon; these centers will offer both specialty and urgent care.
Our bold vision for the future is that Phoenix Children’s stands among the top pediatric hospitals in the nation, with a reputation for providing superior care for sick and injured children; advanced education for child health providers; and innovation, information and influence in the field of children’s health care.
Today, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is home to the state’s largest group of pediatric specialists and sub-specialists. This includes physicians, nurses, technicians and others who are dedicated 100% to the needs of children.