By Dave McMinn

If you want to gauge the growth of a community, take a look at the restaurants, stores, and services that are “popping” up. Another grocery store…a new car wash…a fourth Starbucks. These are signs of significant local population growth. And the speed at which a new community expands is impacted by the symbiotic relationship between businesses and consumers. Businesses need a consumer population to support them, and consumers want to live someplace with established retail and services. It’s a classic case of “If you build it they will come.” But who builds first, the home buyer or the store?

In the case of medical and emergency services, population almost always drives the decision to build new facilities. Such is the case here in North Phoenix, home of Fire Station 55. The residential growth – both in population and urban sprawl – had been stretching the resources of existing first responder agencies, leading to response times that were not meeting the expectations of the city or its residents. This was no reflection on the hard-working firefighters. It was simply a matter of the community outgrowing its current resources. The arrival of a new fire station marked a big step for the Deer Valley/Norterra area.

And now, this area is about to land another major upgrade: A brand-new hospital. HonorHealth is preparing to build their sixth hospital, located in the North Phoenix corridor at I-17 and Dove Valley Road. As a companion to the Sonoran Health and Emergency Services facility that opened in 2013, this new facility will be known as HonorHealth Sonoran Medical Center. This 40-bed hospital (with the ability to double its bed count if needed) will provide a wide range of healthcare services, including general surgery, orthopedic and spine surgery, labor & delivery, and OB/GYN. The campus will also feature physician’s offices, medical imaging, and an ambulatory (outpatient) surgery center.

The decision by HonorHealth to expand their footprint in North Phoenix speaks to the current and future growth of the area, as well as HonorHealth’s commitment to grow alongside the community. The two-year construction process will begin this December, with the hospital scheduled to open in September of 2020.