It took two sessions to officially break ground for an Exceptional Healthcare facility at the northwest corner of John Wayne Parkway and Honeycutt Avenue.
To maintain social distancing, the Texas-based company hosted a Nov. 12 ceremony in the morning with business and economic development representatives and another in the afternoon with Maricopa City Council and city staff.
Described as a community hospital, the $20 million private facility with a 24-hour emergency department is expected to be complete by late 2021. The prime contractor is BMH Builders of Dallas.
Attending the morning session, James Smith, vice president of business development at Maricopa Economic Development Alliance, said it is important for the first company to come to Maricopa for others offering similar services to follow.
The company is forging partnerships with ambulance companies and Mesa-based Native Air Ambulance. The hospital will have a helicopter landing pad to facilitate air transfers to other facilities.
Saeed Mahboubi, the company’s chief financial officer, told attendees Maricopa was chosen as Exceptional Healthcare’s first foray into Arizona “due to need for access to care and also based on the totally warm, inviting reception we received from the city leaders.”
Chamber of Commerce Chairman Adam Saks noted the construction of the medical facility was contingent on the completion of the overpass that looms to the north.
Fire Chief Brady Leffler said the proximity of a hospital will be a game-changer for his department.
“Approximately 85% of our calls for service are medical in nature, and our nearest hospital is a little over 19 miles away,” Leffler said. “This distance can cause one of our response units on patient follow-up to be unavailable for service for longer than I’m comfortable with.”
Bruce McVeigh, chief operations officer for Exceptional Healthcare, said the building will be one story and have 10 private rooms, 10 emergency department rooms and space for radiology. The company closed on the property in October 2019, purchasing land near the southwest slope of the overpass.
“The scope and scale are pretty significant,” McVeigh said.
And they already want more. The company is looking to expand the facilities footprint for a potential surgery department, MRI space, a specialty clinic and medical offices.
“I really couldn’t be more excited about the fact that Saeed called me about a month ago and said, ‘Hey, we need some more land,” City Manager Rick Horst said.
The land needed for expansion nearby was already purchased by another party. Horst took that property owner around town and found a new location for that project so Exceptional Healthcare can spread out.
Kevin Meek, chief nursing officer and a 17-year Arizona resident, said he was enthusiastic about bringing a medical facility to Maricopa.
“I know from living in this area what it means to the city of Maricopa, to Ak-Chin Community, to those around, what it means to have health care in the community,” Meek said. “We’re not going to try to be all things to all people. We have Exceptional Healthcare here in Maricopa and we have great health care that takes place around us in Chandler and Phoenix. So, what we’re going to do is provide those emergency services, those critical services we need to meet the needs of the folks here, to reduce our response times for our EMS personnel. Then, if we need to, we’ll partner with those tertiary facilities to ensure the residents and visitors to Maricopa receive the highest level of care throughout their continuum of care.”