History of Phoenix Children's
The story of Phoenix Children's is one of growth — both in size and quality of medical care — and a dedicated commitment to bringing world-class healthcare to Arizona's children.
A hospital within a hospital
In 1978, Phoenix was the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country — and growing fast. Though rich in resources, the region didn't have a dedicated pediatric hospital. Bold leaders from healthcare, business and the 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. It operated as an independent hospital for nearly 20 years under the leadership of Dan Cloud, MD, 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.
Breaking new ground
Under the direction of President Burl Stamp, Phoenix Children’s saw occupied 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. In May 2002, Phoenix Children's opened as a freestanding specialized pediatric hospital.
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 our employees made tremendous sacrifices and continued in their tradition of hard work and dedication to our patients. So, it was no surprise 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 to ensure we could continue to meet the needs of our community.
Expansion and growth
Thanks to Meyer's strategic plan for growth, in 2008, we opened 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 along the Phoenix skyline. Also 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 staff to offer healing to our community’s youngest patients. With the expansion, Phoenix Children’s is now one of the largest children's hospitals in the country.
2011 brought even more growth. We opened Phoenix Children's Yuma Center, which provides specialty care on the campus of Yuma Regional Medical Center. Additional centers opened in Scottsdale in 2012 and Avondale in 2013, both of which offer specialty and urgent care.
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.
Looking to the future
Our bold vision for the years to come is that Phoenix Children’s will stand among the top pediatric hospitals in the nation. We'll hold a strong reputation for providing superior care for sick and injured children, we'll advance education for child health providers, and we'll bring innovation, information and influence to the field of children’s healthcare.
Today, Phoenix Children’s is home to the state’s largest group of pediatric specialists. These physicians, nurses, technicians and others are 100% dedicated to the needs of children.