Sierra Vista breaks ground on new hospital

2013-10-21T00:00:00Z Sierra Vista breaks ground on new hospitalBy Stephanie Innes Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Sierra Vista Regional Health Center broke ground last week on a new hospital that will double the size of the existing one.

The new 175,000-square-foot hospital is expected to open at the health center’s current site in the spring of 2015, said Jeff Atwood, vice president of communications for the Tennessee-based RegionalCare Hospital Partners, which will operate the hospital.

Atwood would not say how much the project will cost. The hospital is expanding to 100 beds, up from the current 88, and all the rooms will be private, Atwood said. The new hospital will include 15 inpatient psychiatric beds, an added component from the existing facility.

Officials are recruiting physicians — they’ve hired seven new doctors this year and expect to add between eight and 10 more next year, Atwood said.

RegionalCare Hospital Partners says it has committed $18 million to recruit a total of more than 25 physicians over the next seven years.

He added that the new facility will also have an expanded emphasis on outpatient services.

The hospital marks a milestone for Sierra Vista, a city with a greater metropolitan area of about 130,000 people, said Bruce Dockter, chairman of the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center Board.

The hospital, a major provider for employees and their families from nearby Fort Huachuca, will expand health care options for the community and bring economic opportunities, Dockter said in a prepared statement.

Mike Jones of Tennessee-based Gould Turner Architects designed the new facility, and Missouri-based J.E. Dunn Construction, which has a Phoenix division, is the general contractor. J.E. Dunn recently worked on an expansion project at Tucson Medical Center.

The Sierra Vista hospital is a major regional employer, ranking 77 in the Star 200 survey of the area’s biggest employers with 583 full-time-equivalent employees at the start of 2013.

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