By Christy Krueger –
Since settling in Tucson in 2015, Banner Health has set out to significantly expand the availability of medical care to the Tucson community.
It’s in the middle of a $400 million expansion of Banner – University Medical Center Tucson to be completed next year. New Banner urgent care clinics are popping up around town. And in December, Banner opened its much needed 208,000-square-foot outpatient campus at 3838 N. Campbell Ave., immediately east of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.
The three-story, $100 million building on 13 acres has been two years in the making and is intended to replace the tight quarters and aging clinics at the main hospital. Hensel Phelps Construction led the building of Banner – University Medicine North as the general contractor. The company is one of the largest general contractors in the country, working on commercial, educational, governmental, healthcare, hospitality and science and technology projects. It has been involved in numerous UA campus ground-up and expansion developments.
Approximately 350 personnel were relocated to the north campus from Banner UMC, according to Scott Hofferber, COO of Banner University Medical Group. That includes 175 faculty members and residents occupying outpatient clinics; almost 100 clinical staff, such as medical assistants and registered nurses, and 75 support staff – schedulers, front desk and technologists.
As physicians are added over the next few years, more staff will follow. “We anticipate an increase in the clinical footprint by almost 100 exam rooms,” Hofferber said. “We will recruit faculty and providers to fill it out for future growth. Two to three staff members are added for each physician.”
He said one of the unique qualities about the clinic is “it’s a one-stop shop. Patients can come in for primary care and see their cardiologist. We consider it multidisciplinary where multiple providers can come together to treat one patient.”
Twenty-eight medical and surgical specialties in adult care are offered, including allergy, neurology, podiatry and rheumatology. On-site labs, medical imaging and radiation oncology services will be available starting this spring. “It’s a brand new building with the latest technology and a connection to the electronic medical records, and it’s outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment,” Hofferber said.
While many of the specialty areas of care are surgical, the facility is primarily clinical. Surgeries will still be performed at the medical center.
“What I really like about this building is that we have this nice, modern architecture that takes advantage of the wonderful vistas we have of the Catalina Mountains,” said Dr. Charles B. Cairns, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. He noted that the emphasis on privacy enhances the patient experience and also makes providers feel better about the conditions for their patients.
In addition, the clinic’s layout and location mean more convenience and accessibility for patients – with a 960-car parking garage, a cafe, gardens and welcoming interior spaces.
Kathy Bollinger, president of Banner University Medicine, said the building means “bringing better, more efficient care to patients. It means giving faculty a home they can be really proud to work in, and it means a really wonderful investment in the city of Tucson.”