Gilbert Edition - June 2021

GILBERT EDITION

2021 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N

ONLINE AT

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 10  JUNE 23JULY 20, 2021

Town vaccine rates benet hospitals, schools

Gilbert vaccinations

The percentage of fully vaccinated residents surpasses 40% throughout Gilbert ZIP codes but spikes in 85298.

60

85233

19,315

45.2%

85234

85233

85234

22,452

41.8%

85296

IMPACTS

4

87

85295

21,917

41.2%

85295

HEALTHCARE EDITION 2021

85296

21,391

44.2%

202

85297

85297

15,191

43.3%

N

85298

19,881

51.6%

85298

Here are key vaccination numbers in Arizona as of June 16. Vaccine administration

Gilbert’s fully vaccinated rates fall in the middle of neighboring cities as of June 16. Town by percentage

Eligible population

DEVELOPMENT HEALTH CARE SNAPSHOT

Total population

9 8

Number of people fully vaccinated:

Number of COVID-19 vaccines administered:

6,238,630

3,029,930

51.7%

42.3%

46.3%

46%

Number of people who have received at least one dose:

Gilbert

Chandler

Mesa

Tempe

Percent of population fully vaccinated:

42.3%

44.3%

36.5%

38.6%

3,475,825

42.2%

SOURCES: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, MARICOPA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

BY TOM BLODGETT

In Gilbert, 52.3% of the eligible resi- dents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, ahead of the coun- ty’s 50% of the population, according to data from the Maricopa County Pub- lic Health Department. “Denitely we are [and] would like to see getting closer to the 70%, which was taught for the longest time about the herd immunity,” said Dr. Omar Gonzalez, an infectious disease con- sultant and hospital epidemiologist for Dignity Health Arizona, which operates Mercy Gilbert Medical Cen- ter. “Doing our part as citizens, trying

to reach that number should be a goal for everyone.” Herd immunity is when a large por- tion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making spread to those who are not immune unlikely. Gon- zalez said he is hopeful the region will reach herd immunity but was unable to say when or if it will happen, expressing concern that vaccine hesi- tancy will be a barrier to getting there. Meanwhile, the three school dis- tricts that serve Gilbert have lifted their mask mandates, and the opening of CONTINUED ON 12

BERGIES COFFEE ROAST HOUSE

Health care and education ocials are expressing increasing optimism about their COVID-19 outlooks going forward as state data shows more than 38% of Gilbert residents have been fully vaccinated through June 16. Hospital ocials inGilbert said there are fewer COVID-19 patients in local hospital beds since winter highs as the vaccine became widespread through the spring. Still, they are keeping an eye on vaccination numbers while local doctors express condence in the ecacy and safety of the vaccine.

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ABOUT US

THIS ISSUE

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMAMY: As you may have noticed from our cover, this month’s edition is focused on health care news. Inside the edition, we’ve provided information on local hospitals and urgent cares, statistics related to COVID-19 and more. This month’s front-page story is an in-depth look at vaccinations in our area and what those numbers mean for health providers in the area. I hope you’re enjoying your summer break as much as we are! Amy Lawson, PUBLISHER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM TOM : Top executives for the Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center said they are excited the pavilion is nally near completion after COVID-19-related delays. They talk about their frustrations with the delay and what they are happy about soon bringing to Gilbert in our story (see Page 9). Tom Blodgett, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

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BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

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GILBERT EDITION • JUNE 2021

E. ELLIOT RD.

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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5

2

E. BASELINE RD.

2

E. WARNER RD.

87

E. GUADALUPE RD.

17

E. ELLIOT RD.

4

CoreLife Eatery

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen

202

TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

E. WARNER RD.

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11 16

Mexican food takeout restaurants. 480-279-6108. https://libertos.com 4 McDonald’s opened a location in June at 145 S. Higley Road, Gilbert, in Lakeview Village. It is a 24-hour franchise of the international fast-food hamburger chain. 480-558-7419. www.mcdonalds.com 5 Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opened its sixth location June 3 at 884 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 102, Gilbert. It features a healthy modern Italian menu of salads, entrees, pasta and pizza fused with avors of Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients. It also oers a vari- ety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and allergy-friendly items. The indoor space can open by a garage door to connect with the patio, giving a combined 4,300 square feet of space. 480-780-2200. https://picazzos.com 6 Smoke Depot opened May 13 at 785 W. Warner Road, Ste. A105, Gilbert. It is a smoke shop that sells vapes, tobacco, CBD and trading cards. 480-710-7956. 7 Gilbert real estate couple Jesse and Karen Herfel will open a franchise of The Brass Tap at Verde at Cooley Station when that development at Williams Field and Recker roads opens in late 2021. The pub, part of a national chain, oers craft beer, food, wine and craft cocktails. www.brasstapbeerbar.com 8 The Collab anticipates opening some- time in July at SanTan Village shopping center at 2268 E. Williams Field Road, www.instagram.com/ smokedepotsmokeshop COMING SOON

Ste. 105, Gilbert. It provides customizable or move-in ready salon suites for small businesses. 480-617-4831. www.instagram.com/projectluxaz 9 Dip Nail Bar , which has several locations around the Valley, will open another at Verde at Cooley Station when the development opens at Williams Field and Recker roads in late 2021. It special- izes in manicures, pedicures and waxing services. 10 Korean dessert concept Frostails will open at Verde at Cooley Station at Williams Field and Recker roads when the development opens in late 2021. It will serve bingsoo, a frozen, shaved milk treat topped with dierent avorings, such as fruit. www.frostails.com 11 Jeremiah’s Italian Ice anticipates opening a franchise July 13 at 85 E. War- ner Road, Ste. 104, Gilbert, in the Gilbert Warner development. The shop serves 40 avors of Italian Ice and three avors of soft ice cream. This will be the second Ar- izona location with the rst in Chandler. 480-590-0089. https://jeremiahsice. com/locations/gilbert-az 12 Kids Empire anticipates opening this summer at 2268 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, in the SanTan Village shopping center. The national chain of children’s amusement centers has activities for tots and older children and can host parties. The Gilbert location will be the third in Arizona. www.kidsempire.com 13 North Italia is expected to open in Gilbert at 1950 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 102, Gilbert. An exact opening date is not yet known. The national restaurant chain, which has Arizona locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, oers

E. RAY RD.

202

E. RAY RD.

5

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

E. CHANDLER BLVD.

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15 9 10

SANTAN VILLAGE PKWY.

1

E. PECOS RD.

202

8 12

E. GERMANN RD. E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

202

13

14 18

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

3

E. QUEEN CREEK RD.

E . O C O

E. PECOS RD.

E. RIGGS RD.

MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

E. HUNT HWY. NOWOPEN 1 AV Barber Co. opened May 2 at 3126 S. Higley Road, Ste. 105, Gilbert. It is a traditional neighborhood barbershop. 480-687-3823. https://avbarberco.com 2 CoreLife Eatery opened its second location in Arizona of the fast-casual, healthy eating restaurant at 1555 N. Higley Road, Ste. C-105, Gilbert, on May 19. The menu features grain bowls, green salads, soups, bone broth and dinner plates that include roasted vegetables

HUNT HWY. and house-made sides. The menu also features handheld items such as made- to-order tacos and wraps. CoreLife uses grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken and pork, and cage-free eggs. All ingredi- ents are free of GMOs, trans fats, articial colors, sweeteners and additives. No sodas are sold, but lemonade, juices and teas are available. 866-778-0033. www.corelifeeatery.com E. GERMANN RD. 3 A location of Filiberto’s opened in mid-April at 3050 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert. It is part of the chain of 24-hour

RD.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

Late June-July events

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

JUNE 23 THROUGH SEPT. 4 KIDS IN FOCUS

11

17

HD South showcases an exhibition of work from a nonprot organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring at-risk youth. The goal of Kids in Focus is to encourage children to reach their potential using photography to ignite their imagination and build their sense of condence and value. The exhibit will be on display in Gallery 4. Open during museum hours. Free with museum admission. HD South, 10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-926-1577. https://hdsouth.org JULY 01 THROUGHAUG. 15 ‘FREAKY FRIDAY’ This new musical, based on the novel by Mary Rodgers and the Disney lms, is about a mother and her daughter who swap bodies and have one day to put things right again. 7:30 p.m. (Thu.-Sat.), 4 p.m. (Sat.) $40, $22 (youth tickets must be pre-purchased at box oce or website). Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181. www.haletheatrearizona.com

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Romeo’s Euro Cafe

TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

JULY 04

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

ANNIVERSARIES 17 Romeo’s Euro Café at 207 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 105, Gilbert, celebrated its 30th anniversary June 1. Self-taught chef Romeo Taus’ restaurant has a Mediterra- nean menu with wines. Taus also hosts A Taste of Romeo’s Euro Café each Thurs- day night with chef-selected samples and wine pairings in a private dining room. 480-962-4224. www.eurocafe.com CLOSINGS 18 The Children’s Place closed in late May at 2180 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 108, Gilbert, in the San Tan Village shop- ping center. It sold children’s merchan- dise for ages newborn to 14 years old. Locations in Chandler and Mesa remain open. www.childrensplace.com

customers Italian dishes and craft cock- tails. www.northitalia.com 14 PNC Bank will open a branch in SanTan Village shopping center at 2050 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert. It does personal, small business and corporate banking. No opening date has been an- nounced. www.pnc.com 15 SkinFinity Medspa will open at Verde at Cooley Station in late 2021 at Williams Field and Recker roads. It will oer aesthetic medical services. www.facebook.com/skinnity.medspa.1 16 Tap Dragon Craft Beer & Wine Bar anticipates opening in the Gilbert Warner development at 835 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. B107, in September. It will oer local craft beers and a rotating wine list, meads and ciders served indoors or on an outdoor, dog-friendly patio. 480-205- 5895. https://thetapdragon.com

The town of Gilbert celebration moves to a new venue. It will feature live music and food trucks. Parking is free but limited. Gilbert Regional Park connects with East Maricopa Floodway and Queen Creek Wash Trail and is accessible by foot or bicycle. The park will be closed from 10 p.m. July 3 until gates open at 5:30 p.m. 20-minute rework show at 8:45 p.m. Free. Gilbert Regional Park, 3005 E. Queen Creek Road. 480-503-6200. www.gilbertaz.gov/july4th

Find more or submit Gilbert events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

5

GILBERT EDITION • JUNE 2021

E. BASELINE RD.

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES E. GUADALUPE RD.

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

E. ELLIOT RD.

ONGOING PROJECTS 1 Recker Road improvements

median, sidewalks, bike lanes, streetlights, traffic signals and improvements to the bridge over the Eastern Canal. Status: Construction is underway on north- bound Lindsay Road. Utility relocations are 90% complete. Crews will maintain one lane in each direction while maintaining lefts at signalized intersections whenever possible. Timeline: October 2020-January 2022 Cost: $27.43 million Funding sources: town of Gilbert, Maricopa Association of Governments, developer contri- butions 4 Lindsay/Loop 202 interchange An interchange at Lindsay Road and Loop 202 will be built to provide access to Loop 202 and a frontage road system on the north side of Loop 202 between Lindsay and Gilbert roads. Status: Traffic restrictions on Lindsay began in March and will remain throughout the remainder of the project. Crews are coordinating traffic control with the Germann Road improvements project. Construction is 31% complete. Timeline: October 2020-November 2021 Cost: $18.15 million Funding sources: town of Gilbert bonds and funds, Maricopa Association of Governments, developer contributions ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 17. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT GILNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

E. WARNER RD.

The town will complete Recker Road improve- ments from Loop 202-Santan Freeway to Ray Road to minor arterial road standards, including four lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks and streetlights. Status: Construction is approximately 60% com- plete. Construction restarted from a pause the first week of May with four months remaining. Timeline: January 2020-September 2021 Cost: $3.94 million Funding sources: town of Gilbert, developer contributions 2 Val Vista Drive widening The town is widening Val Vista Drive from Apple- by Road—about where Val Vista narrows to one lane in each direction—to Riggs Road. The result will be a six-lane section from Ocotillo Road to Merlot Street. Status : Traffic restrictions are one lane in each direction. The project is approximately 85% complete. Timeline: March 2020-August 2021 Cost: $25.96 million Funding sources: town of Gilbert, Maricopa

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W. RAY RD.

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

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E. PECOS RD.

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E. QUEEN CREEK RD.

E. APPLEBY RD.

E . O C O

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E. MERLOT ST.

E. RIGGS RD.

Association of Governments 3 Germann Road upgrades

Germann Road will be improved to major arterial roadway standards, including six lanes, a raised

HUNT HWY.

E. HUNT HWY.

MAP NOT TO SCALE N

savings around the corner. Let us help you save on car insurance and more. Jay Harris 3757 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert geico.com/gilbert-harris 623-824-7010

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TOWN&EDUCATION

News from Gilbert, Gilbert Public Schools, Higley USD & Chandler USD

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

MEETINGSWE COVER Gilbert Town Council No meetings late June-July 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert 480-503-6871 • www.gilbertaz.gov Gilbert Public Schools Board No meetings late June-early July 140 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert 480-497-3300 www.gilbertschools.net Higley USD Board No meetings late June-early July 2935 S. Recker Road, Gilbert 480-279-7000 • www.husd.org Chandler USD Board June 23, 7 p.m. 1525 W. Frye Road, Chandler 480-812-7000 • www.cusd80.com Follow us on Twitter: @impactnews_gil SCHOOLHIGHLIGHTS GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS The Gilbert Public Schools governing board approved Campo Verde High School Principal Krista Cox as the district’s director of curriculum at its May 18 board meeting. Cox, whose appointment was unanimous and will start with the 2021-22 school year, replaces Renea Kennedy in the position. HIGLEY USD District meal provider Chartwells K12 is serving free meals this summer to community children age 18 and younger at three locations: Higley Traditional Academy, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays; Higley High School, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Cortina Elementary School, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Breakfast and lunch for three or four days will be handed out together at all sites. CHANDLER USD Basha Accelerated Middle School’s eighth- grade academic pentathlon team won the national championship May 22 while the seventh-grade team nished third. The school’s students won 66 medals in the national competition.

Transportation and infrastructure bond package to go before voters

GILBERT BOND PRIORITIES Approximately 40 projects would be paid for by the bond that address ve areas. $214M Safety and congestion $106M Reconstruction to address growth and the trac system’s decay $78M Transportation-related projects from the Heritage District’s redevelopment plan $68M Transportation technology $49M Multimodal investments for transportation alternatives

GILBERT Town Council called for a special bond election in the fall for a $515 million package funding transportation and infrastructure projects at its June 1 meeting. The resolution for the election, scheduled for Nov. 2 but to be conducted through the mail, passed on a 5-2 vote with Council Members Aimee Yentes and Laurin Hendrix voting in dissent. Championing the proposal from the dais was Vice Mayor Yung Koprowski, a transportation engineer who sat on the citizens transporta- tion task force that studied the issue

before she was appointed to council last year. Koprowski noted the importance of the projects to the town’s trans- portation system and said the town has no other way to pay for them than bonds. Gilbert does not have a dedicated transportation sales tax. Yentes said she largely supported the projects in the package and felt bonds were appropriate to fund the transportation projects. Nonetheless, Yentes said she would like to see a cleaner transportation package without parks and recreation infrastructure projects and would

SOURCE: TOWN OF GILBERTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

prefer a series of smaller bond ques- tions to “wrangle in” debt capacity. She also questioned the timing of running the election o the regular election cycle.

Districts awardedmore reliefmoney

Budget given nal OK aftermove on levy fails GILBERT Town Council gave nal approval June 1 to its scal year 2021-22 budget and the secondary property tax levy after rejecting a proposal to maintain the levy at its current scal year level. The approvals came on 5-2 votes with council members Aimee Yentes and Laurin Hendrix voting in dissent. Yentes and Hen- drix also were the lone council members to vote in support of Yentes’ proposal to maintain the current levy at $25.8 million, which could have cut homeowners’ taxes. As a result of the votes, the budget was set at $988.25 million, a reduction of $4.59 million from the previous year, and the levy at $27.75 million, an increase of $1.87 million. The secondary tax rate will remain at $0.99 per $100 assessed valuation.

ARIZONA The Arizona Department of Education announced May 24 how much money school districts and charter schools will receive in a third round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding. The state is receiving $2.5 billion in funding as authorized through the American Rescue Plan that Congress passed in March. Like the rst two rounds of funding, the use of the money is meant to be exible for local decisions on what is needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with ESSER III, 20% of the money is required to be

set aside to address learning loss through the pandemic, such as through summer school or tutoring eorts. The districts still must apply to receive the grants. ESSER III AWARDS Here is how much local school districts have been allocated from ESSER III money.

$30.66 million

Chandler USD

Gilbert Public Schools

$22 million

$7.87 million

Higley USD

SOURCE: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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GILBERT EDITION • JUNE 2021

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT 2021 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N HEALTHCARE SNAPSHOT

COMBATING COVID19

CASES BY ZIP CODE

COVID19 IN STATE

All data is from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and is current as of June 15.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

ICU BEDS IN USE

60

970

5,517

85234

Summer high | July 13, 2020

Summer high | July 13, 2020

COUNTYVACCINATIONS

85233

114

468

85296

Fall low | Sept. 22, 2020

Fall low | Sept. 27, 2020

1,183

5,082

87

43.8% have received at least one vaccination

85295

Winter high | Jan. 11, 2021

Winter high | Jan. 11, 2021

120 Spring low | June 14-15, 2021

509

202

85297

Spring low | June 14, 2021

120

554

Vaccination status of all Maricopa County residents

Current

Current

N

85298

56.2% not yet received a vaccination

CASE DEMOGRAPHICS

CASE AGE BREAKDOWN

5.68% 16.88% 38.01% 4.87% 1.49% 3.28% 29.79%

Asian Black

4,586 6,136 6,388 5,918 4,160 4,214

16.42% 43.98% 14.55% 11.9% 13.04% 0.11%

85233 85234 85295 85296 85297 85298

0-19

20-44 55-64 45-54

Hispanic

Native American

Other White

65+

SOURCE: MARICOPA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTHCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT Women and Children’s Pavilion anticipates opening in fall 2022

2 0 2 1 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N

the pavilion’s shell, as well, such as PCH’s medical surgical input area, which will open at 24 beds but has the ability to move up to 48 beds as demand increases, Benson said.

an increase of four primary-care locations in the area, including one in Gilbert, in 2020, bringing the number to nine; and the launch in May 2020 of the Newborn Early Screening Team,

BY TOM BLODGETT

Construction frustrations Benson said there is some frustra- tion with the delays. “Think of the reasons why for this facility and the growing needs of the East Valley for women and children, all the families that are choosing to live out here,” she said. “All of those reasons why have only grown stronger during this time. So when we get frustrated, it’s because we see the need and we want to be able to meet that need, and it’s just really getting our construction completed so we’re able to do that.” Slyter said the pavilion was hit hard by some common construction challenges from the pandemic. The delays drove the construction labor and materials costs up “multimillion” dollars, he said. But Benson said it yielded addi- tional opportunity, too. “We haven’t rested during [the construction delays],” Benson said. “We’ve actually been able to move several of our care models forward.” Expansions of service For example, PCH’s neonatology teamwas able to begin serving chil- dren at Mercy Gilbert and Chandler Regional medical centers, an area that previously was awaiting the pavilion opening, Benson said. PCH also expanded its pediatric emergency department plan to 24 beds and upgraded its MRI size from 1.5 to 3 Tesla. A Tesla is a unit of measure for magnetic induction. There is also room to expand within

Like many construction projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women and Children’s Pavilion has fallen behind its projected timeline, delaying its scheduled opening from the turn of this year until 2022. However, Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital ocials said they have used the delay time to further enhance their plans on the collaborative project. Now the pavilion is anticipating opening in the fall of 2022, ocials said. Despite the delay, Mark Slyter, pres- ident and CEO of Mercy Gilbert Medi- cal Center, and Lee Ann Benson, vice president of the East Valley market for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said they are excited to nally see the project come to fruition. The site is the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center campus. “This is a real special partnership,” Slyter said. “What we’re able to bring into a community by bringing the expertise of two organizations like this is going to be tremendous.” Slyter said such a collaboration of specialists in women’s and children’s health care is a rst for Arizona. “This is not just labor and delivery,” he said. “It is a true comprehensive women’s pavilion, breast health, urogynecology, heart health, women’s [gastrointestinal], all these dierent types of specialties focusing in on the continuum of care needed for women. And that’ll be matched with the full complement of services for children that’s provided by Phoenix Children’s.”

Lee Ann Benson, Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Mark Slyter, Dignity Health

For PCH, the Women and Children’s Pavilion is part of a wave of expansion in the East Valley. That included opening its specialty clinics building on the Mercy Gilbert campus in 2019;

or NEST, Clinic. That clinic follows children discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit through age 3 to make sure they are hitting their developmental milestones and getting referred into what care they need. Benson said such developments are helping move the organization toward the overall goal of providing more care for the region. “This is a unique model that we’re creating for the state of Arizona, but we truly feel like it’s the best model for patient care,” Benson said.

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WOMENAND CHILDREN’S PAVILION • 5 stories • 378,000 square feet • 168 beds • $250 million-plus investment OPENING FALL 2022 DIGNITY HEALTH CONTRIBUTION • Maternity services • Breast health • Urogynecology • Heart health • Women’s gastrointestinal

PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CONTRIBUTION • 24-bed pediatric emergency department • 60-bed Level III NICU • 24 bed medical/surgical inpatient unit • Six operating rooms and procedural suites

• Diagnostic imaging • Pediatric pharmacy

SOURCES: DIGNITY HEALTH, PHOENIX CHILDREN’S HOSPITALCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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1 Banner Gateway Medical Center 1900 N. Higley Road, Gilbert 4805432000 www.bannerhealth.com/locations/gilbert/ banner-gateway-medical-center • Trauma level: IV • NICU level: II • Private rooms: 177 • Operating suites: 9 • Number of beds: 177 2 Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center 2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive, Gilbert 4802566444 www.bannerhealth.com/banner-md- anderson/locations/gilbert/banner-md- anderson-cancer-center-gilbert • Number of beds: outpatient only 3 Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 3555 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert 8442547423 www.dignityhealth.org/arizona/locations/ mercygilbert • Trauma level: III • NICU level: II • Number of beds: 198 ERS, URGENT CARE & RETAIL CLINICS 4 Banner Children’s Urgent Care U T 1355 S. Higley Road, Ste. 104, Gilbert 4808275770 https://urgentcare.bannerhealth.com 5 Banner Urgent Care U T 1641 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert 4808275670

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GILBERT EDITION • JUNE 2021

CONTINUED FROM 1

A closer look at Arizona vaccinations Older age groups are mostly vaccinated in Arizona while a plurality of those vaccinated are white. State demographics breakdown State age breakdown Maricopa County age breakdown

Percentage of vaccinated

Percentage of vaccinated

Percentage of vaccinated

Percentage of total population

Percentage of total population

Percentage of total population 1.74%

< 15

1.71% 19.01%

< 15

19.82%

3.8% 3.7%

Asian

2.4% 5.2%

Black

15-34

22.59% 27.21%

15-34

23.49% 27.91%

Native American Hispanic

13.9% 31.7%

35-44

12.87% 12.26%

35-44

13.9% 13.02%

2.3% 5.3%

45-54

13.94% 11.85%

45-54

15.03% 12.52%

White

47.5% 54.1%

55-64

17.22%

55-64

17.22% 12.08%

11.56%

Unknown

16.8%

Other

65-plus

31.67% 17.59%

65-plus

28.62%

15.17%

13.1%

SOURCE: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

vaccinations in Arizona to children ages 12-15, which began May 13, has made district ocials increasingly bullish about relaxing protocols for the fall semester. Doctors advocate for vaccine While optimistic, Gonzalez said he would still like to see many more peo- ple vaccinated. “We have seen that in some commu- nities that there is some hesitancy on receiving the vaccine,” he said. “I can speak for the Hispanic community that has been one of the groups that has been impacted the most in the state of Arizona. Even with that, there’s still a lot of vaccine hesitancy. We want to reach out to all the communities … encouraging them to go and get vaccinated.” State data backs Gonzalez’s con- cerns. While the Hispanic community makes up 31.7% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Arizona Department of Health Services reports Hispanics make up 13.9% of those vaccinated. Gonzalez said his patients ask ques- tions about the vaccinations, which he said is normal. Nonetheless, he expressed condence in the vaccine and is working to educate patients about its eectiveness. Gonzalez said many concerns have to do with the new technology used in the mRNA vaccines from Pzer and Moderna and the fast tracking of devel- opment and distribution of the vaccine under the U.S. government-initiated Operation Warp Speed. That pub- lic-private partnership compressed a normally 73-month process into 14 months.

visitors during u season. He said the hospital never got to the point where ocials thought it would be overrun, but intensive care and some other units were stretched to their limits. “With everything that we put into place, the sta rose to the occasion,” he said. “Our leaders rose to the occasion to look at the next group of options. And quite frankly, we built out a real robust plan to address the surge and updated all of our surge plans early on in the pandemic. And we were able to just work those plans.” The situation at Banner Gateway Medical Center was slightly dierent. Lamont Yoder, CEO for Banner Gate- way and the BannerMDAnderson Can- cer Center in Gilbert, said the health care network’s emergency operations center, which launched March 4, 2020, helped the network manage resources and capacity. “One strategic decision was to not admit COVID-positive patients to the Banner Gateway campus in order to better keep our immunosuppressed oncology patients safe,” Yoder said. “With all Banner hospitals working together, we were able to coordinate care for all COVID and non-COVID patients across the Valley.” Rapid testing from Sonora Quest Laboratories made that possible, Yoder said, as patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were transferred to another Banner Health hospital. In turn, Ban- ner Gateway accepted non-COVID patients from other hospitals to bal- ance the load. He said during peaks, Banner Gateway safely operated over the hospital’s capacity of non-COVID patients.

But Gonzalez said the technology has been studied formore than 10 years and no phases of vaccine development were skipped. “The reason why we went really fast, it was a necessity for the commu- nity and the population to control this infection,” he said. Likewise, Phoenix Children’s Hospi- tal pediatrician Dr. Gary Kirkilas, the spokesperson for the American Acad- emy of Pediatricians, said he encour- ages parents to get their children ages 12-15 vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pzer vaccine for administration those ages 12-15 on May 12. Kirkilas said estimates have Pzer applying and being granted emergency use authorization for ages 2-11 inSeptember and those 6months-2 years old in November. Kirkilas said parents sometimes ask him why they should get children vac- cinated when their COVID-19 symp- toms are typically mild and their risks are lower. “The truth is that the COVID is not completely benign,” he said. “There’s been 30 deaths [of children] here in Arizona, and we also know that kids spread the virus. They can spread it to parents; they can spread it to their teachers; they can spread it to grand- parents. And we see things like the multisystem inammatory syndrome where kids—their immune response to COVID—it just goes out of whack, where they even have inammation in all parts and dierent organs and require hospitalization.” Kirkilas said he understands—with a new virus and mRNA technology not having been used in a vaccine

before—why some parents would be hesitant to have the vaccine adminis- tered to their children. But he said he believes there is enough data on safety and ecacy of the vaccines. “There is a lot of misinformation and pseudoscience out there,” he said. “So I always tell them, use a trusted source of information. Talk to your pediatri- cian, talk to a doctor, look at the CDC website, look at unbiased information and make your decision from there.” Hospitalsmanage situation The primary driver that govern- ment and other ocials cited in 2020 for business shutdowns, mask man- dates and other protocols was concern about virus patients overwhelming the health care system. The peak came Jan. 13 when 93% of the state’s intensive care unit beds were lled, according to AZDHS data, 65% of them by COVID-19 patients. But hospital ocials in Gilbert said they adapted during the pandemic and are optimistic as hospitalizations con- tinue to decline. As of June 16, 78% of ICU beds were lled in the state, but only 7% by COVID-19 patients, accord- ing to AZDHS data. “We’re in great shape from our hos- pitals’ perspective,” said Mark Slyter, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center president and CEO. “We had our surge earlier on in the year in that January, February time, and it was a real challenge for us. I’m not going to sugarcoat that at all. It was a real challenge back then, but we made it through successfully through a lot of community collaboration.” Slyter said itwas helpful that thehos- pital had experience with surges with Arizona’s traditional inux of winter

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

2 0 2 1 H E A L T H C A R E E D I T I O N

County vaccinations Doses administered to Maricopa County residents peaked the rst week of April. 300,000

1st of 2 doses

1st of 1 dose & 2nd of 2 doses

Unknown

261,320 total vaccinations

Doses byweek

250,000

200,000

70,860 total vaccinations

150,000

100,000

50,000

0

SOURCE: MARICOPA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Schools look to fall Kirkilas praised schools’ eorts to manage the pandemic through the implementation of protocols. He said the diculties of remote learning and changing learning modalities during the middle of the year make another case for parents to get their children vaccinated. Of the three districts that serve

We create Great Smiles Gilbert, only Chandler USDhas put pro- tocol plans in place for fall. The CUSD administration presented its COVID-19 mitigation plan to the governing board during a study session May 12 that called for optional masks for the next school year and 3 feet of social distanc- ing where feasible. The plan also outlines that the Maricopa County Department of

Public Health has the authority to close a school due to a rise inCOVID-19 cases. Gilbert Public Schools intends to keep families informed this summer as the district addresses protocols for the fall semester, district spokesperson Dawn Antestenis said. At Higley USD, district nurse Jil- lian Fulton said the district is working with the leadership team to nalize

protocols, which she anticipates will be shared mid-summer. “A safe and eective vaccine against COVID-19 will help in preventing the COVID-19 infections and lowering the risk of spread,” she said.

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