More expansion coming at Exceptional Community Hospital

Exceptional Community Hospital-Maricopa is the first hospital in Maricopa. [Brian Petersheim Jr.]

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting event at Exceptional Community Hospital-Maricopa Friday ushered in more than a new era for the city with its first hospital. It provided a glimpse into the future growth of that hospital.

The 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility opened in December and includes nine in-patient rooms and eight emergency department treatment rooms, allowing local residents to receive 24-hour emergency treatment in Maricopa rather than facing a half hour ambulance ride to an emergency room in Chandler or Casa Grande.

Exceptional Community Hospital also includes a specialty internal medicine hospital, in-house laboratory, and a digital imaging suite including CT Scan, X-Ray, mobile MRI and ultrasound.

But according to Saeed Mahboubi, Chief Executive Officer of Exceptional Health Care, even with those capabilities, the community is ready for more services, and Exceptional is preparing to provide them.

“Phase 2 will be just north of the existing building and will include additional rooms attached to the hospital – mostly in-patient rooms and emergency department (ED),” Mahboubi said. “That’s where we’re lacking space. So, we’ll have more rooms, and Phase 2 also will include an OB/GYN department. Then Phase 3 will be surgery and medical office space.”

Mahboubi did not provide a timeline for the expansion, but said the hospital already is developing plans, “and things tend to go very fast in this town.”

The Phase 2 and 3 expansion is on top of an already-announced expansion of services within the existing hospital walls.

Exceptional began its initial expansion just weeks after opening its doors. That expansion, into a space left vacant by design so the hospital could react to the specific needs of the community, will help the hospital implement its “Fast Track” care option that will help the ED reduce wait times and lighten the patient load in the triage area.

“Although we have been open only a few weeks, we saw an opportunity to improve efficiency and care inside the Emergency Department,” Mahboubi said when the initial expansion was announced. “This will not only speed up the time it takes for patients to be treated, but also improve care times for our more critical patients.”

The hospital already is proving to be a huge benefit to all parts of the community. Robert Miguel, Chairman of the Ak-Chin Community, said a hospital was long overdue.

“Finally,” Miguel said. “I mean, really, finally. I was born and raised here before we had anything up and to finally have a facility to care for not only Maricopa but also Ak-Chin has been much needed for a long time, so this is definitely a dream come true for the citizens of Maricopa and the members of Ak-Chin.”

In addition to providing a benefit to current residents, the hospital can be an economic driver, according to Adam Saks, Executive Director of the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance.

“The bedrock of economic development, and this is something I tell everybody, is education and health care,” Saks said. “We are a city of 70,000 that did not have a facility such as this, at this level. You can’t provide emergency services for a city this size in offices that open and close, so it was groundbreaking. It’s a real difference-maker for us in the ability to attract the level of companies and businesses that we’re looking for.”

City leaders gather for the ribbon cutting ceremony [Brian Petersheim Jr.]