Banner opens new hospital in south Chandler - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Banner opens new hospital in south Chandler

November 5th, 2020 SanTan Sun News
Banner opens new hospital in south Chandler


South Chandler now has a new hospital.

Banner Health’s newest hospital, Banner Ocotillo Medical Center, opened last week at 1405 S. Alma School Road, just north of the SanTan Loop 202 Freeway.

The new facility, the first new Banner hospital in Arizona since it opened Banner Ironiwood Medical Center in Queen Creek in 2010, is starting out with 124 beds but is designed to grow over time.

The hospital offers emergency and intensive care, endoscopy, cardiac services, imaging, surgical services and women and infant services, including labor and delivery. It can care for babies born at 32 weeks and older.

“The hospital anticipates handling about 21,000 emergency visits per year to start,” said Banner spokeswoman Nancy Neff.

She said it has the capacity to double the emergency room from 14 to 28 beds and grow from four to six operating rooms “whenever patient volumes dictate expansion.”

Prior to the opening, a Chandler youngster had a chance to tour the facility after submitting the winning entry in a coloring contest Banner ran for youngsters in the neighborhood.

Brendan Wang, 9, a fourth grader at CTA Independent, and his mother, toured the entire hospital and cared for a “patient” in the emergency room and operated on a another, participated in a consult in the intensive care unit, grabbed a snack in the doctor’s dining room and went up to the helipad.

He was accompanied by Banner CEO Laura Robertson, who hailed the new facility’s opening.

“We are so excited to open this beautiful new hospital to serve Chandler and surrounding communities,” said Robertson. “I’m proud and honored to be leading and working alongside an experienced, patient-centered team of health professionals, many of whom live in Chandler and are now able to work here, too.”

And almost within hours of the hospital’s opening Nov. 2, the first patient walked through the doors.

Charlie Betts, 80, of Chandler, started feeling faint and dizzy and asked if the new Banner Ocotillo Medical Center was open yet since it was just a few minutes’ drive from home.

It turns out, he was the first patient to walk through the Emergency Department doors for treatment.

Betts said he and his wife, Bonnie, “watched every nail go in this place” while it was being built.

He was getting his car serviced when he started feeling ill.

“Then Charlie was next” for needing repair, joked his wife of 21 years.They shared a few laughs in his treatment room, remembering how they met at a singles dance at Camelback Inn.

A longtime nurse and healthcare administrator with deep roots in the medical industry, Robertson also is CEO of Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Children’s at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa.

In a 2019 interview, she told the SanTan Sun News that the ability to help usher in a new hospital was “exciting.”

“The ability to start a culture – that’s exciting,” she said.“The ability to deliver care in that community is exciting. I love the City of Chandler. Our mission’s about making healthcare easier so life can be better. The part about that is about being able to deliver care in the community.”

The four-story, 240,000-square-foot hospital is located on the southeast corner of Alma School Road and the freeway.

Neff said the hospital features cutting-edge technology to improve safety and quality, including robotic surgeries, UV-disinfecting lights, monitored hand-hygiene stations, and smart phone devices for all caregivers to improve charting, communication and medication and lab orders.

Another feature involves 200 pieces of artwork, much of it done by local artists, that represents Chandler’s history and landmarks.

A signature piece in the main lobby was commissioned specifically for Banner Ocotillo. It is a 9’-by-10’ ceramic mosaic, called Desert Healing, by Gilbert artist Rylee Sturge.

Banner Ocotillo is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 30 hospitals in six states.