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Phoenix Children's Hospital

Private Healthcare - Health Services

The idea for a Phoenix Children's Hospital was born in 1978 when members of the Maricopa Pediatric Society began discussing the need for a kids-only hospital. Phoenix was the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country with excellent health care facilities in some 23 hospitals. But while most of them offered some type of pediatric care, the pediatricians knew this was not good enough. A children's hospital was needed.

On July 31, 1980, Phoenix Children's Hospital was incorporated. They had no facility yet, but they had a strong conviction that it was time to do right by Arizona's children. Then a bold idea was proposed: to locate the children's hospital on the campus of an existing hospital, thereby saving enormous sums of money and gaining an efficiency of resource use that was well ahead of its time. Phoenix Children's Hospital opened within Good Samaritan in 1983 and operated as an independent hospital there for almost 20 years. Facing steady growth and an opportunity to establish its own campus, Phoenix Children's purchased a 22-acre site originally occupied by the Phoenix Regional Medical Center in 1999 to build a free-standing children's hospital. Construction and renovation of the old Phoenix Regional site began in 2000, and Phoenix Children's began operations as a freestanding, specialized pediatric hospital in May 2002.

Today, Phoenix Children's is the only free-standing pediatric hospital in Arizona and one of the 10 largest hospitals of its kind in the United States.

The main facility (Thomas campus) consists of a five-story, 265,000 square foot pediatric hospital (including an emergency department), one medical office building, one outpatient clinic, and two other service buildings.

Phoenix Children's main Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, still located at Good Samaritan (McDowell campus), continues to operate as one of the largest neonatal intensive care units in the country.

The Hospital has three Specialty Care Centers – in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Glendale – to care for patients in their own neighborhoods.

Phoenix Children's Hospital contains 299 beds between its several locations, including 137 intensive care beds.


The Benefits of Kids-only Hospital Care A Children's Hospital is distinctly different from a pediatric department in a general hospital. Our new, freestanding hospital was important to avert a pediatric bed crisis in our community. During 2001, Phoenix Children's placed 3,968 children on waiting lists because no bed was immediately available. But, the new hospital also serves to fill a unique niche that was previously missing in our community. While our beautiful new building is comforting to children and families, it's the improved care afforded by this setting that's most important. Only a children's hospital can ensure that every staff member is focused on pediatrics, and this translates to greater expertise. Radiology staff know how to calm wiggly children to minimize x-rays. Pharmacy systems are set to alarm if an unusual pediatric dosage is ordered. Staff are trained to recognize and alleviate pain in patients too young to verbalize their discomfort. A nurse who normally works with adults is never assigned to care for children just because there's a staff shortage. Following are some of the other benefits to kids-only hospital care:
  • More personal attention. Pediatric care requires more clinical staff because children need more constant supervision and help with basic daily activities.
  • Greater pediatric expertise. Pediatric hospitals employ staff trained specifically in the medical, developmental and emotional needs of kids. Clinicians and staff are familiar with age-appropriate approaches to pediatric medical care.
  • Child-specific Skills: Providing health care to children requires a unique set of skills to "read" children and know when they are in pain or distress. Due to their smaller body size, children can become very ill very fast, so being alert to subtle indicators is essential. Staff are trained to recognize the different ways that children, from infants to teens, express pain. They are trained apply a wide range of pain management techniques in addition to medical intervention.
  • Child-sized equipment. Pediatric patients need specialized equipment in a range of sizes and special technology and monitoring systems designed specifically for children.
  • Greater access to specialists. Illnesses in children tend to affect multiple organ systems more than in adults. Convenient access to multiple pediatric specialists in one location, who in turn share information more efficiently, is a benefit.
  • Less competition for resources. Pediatric hospitals avoid competing with adult programs in general hospitals for limited resources such as funding, space and personnel.
  • Ability to handle more severe illnesses and Injuries.Children's hospitals serve the most critically ill and injured children and are uniquely prepared to help children who require longer stays and more complex care. They have the developmental programs mentioned below are especially important for longer hospital stays.
  • Kid-friendly programs. Pediatric hospitals offer in-hospital school programs, play therapy and services that help kids and families learn strategies for coping with illness. Siblings are included in many programs.
  • Family-friendly designs. Pediatric hospitals feature designs such as family sleeping and waiting areas, sibling play areas and easy-to-access bedsides that make it easier for families to spend time at the hospital.
  • Kid-friendly facilities. Children's hospitals can build with kids in mind, including features like child-sized counters and doors, play areas and appealing colors and decorations.
  • More ongoing contact with families. Pediatric hospitals devote more resources to follow-up care, parenting education, injury prevention and referrals to social services as needed.
  • Greater appeal to kids. Kids feel more at home surrounded by other kids. Because children are generally healthy and make up the smallest percentage of the public needing hospitalization, they are a minority in a general hospital.

  • Vision

    Our Mission
    To provide hope, healing and the best care for children and families.

    Our Vision
    To be the recognized leader in children's health care in the Southwest by offering superior patient care, education and research programs.

    Our Values
    Our mission and vision are rooted in the following values: family-centered care, leadership, innovation, excellence, caring, collaboration and accountability.


    Only kids. Only Phoenix Children's Hospital. At Phoenix Children's Hospital, we know that children aren't just small adults. Their bodies are entirely different. That's why there is a special branch of medicine (pediatrics) just for them. There are several benefits to kids-only hospital care. Learn why this kind of care is important. Children's developmental, emotional and physical needs all play a part in their health. Our nationally acclaimed Child Life program uses specialists who ease children's fears through therapeutic play and open discussion. We coordinate special events and programs that encourage social interaction. We create a lively environment where kids can be kids. At Phoenix Children's Hospital, we ask children how we can make the hospital a better place for kids and their families. They've given us lots of good advice over the years, such as ways to make procedures less painful, how to make treatment rooms look less scary, and how to better respect their privacy. Our new hospital allowed us to act on their suggestions about how a children's hospital should be designed. The result is a uniquely child-friendly environment with bright colors, special artwork and recreation spaces for kids of all ages. Taking care of sick children means caring about the entire family. Our family-centered care philosophy encourages parents to be part of the health care team. We know it's important for parents to be involved in making decisions about their child's care. We address the special needs of siblings, too. Everyone who works at Phoenix Children's Hospital is devoted to one important mission: providing hope, healing and the very best care possible to children and their families.


    Services at Phoenix Children's Hospital

    Phoenix Children's Hospital provides a range of non-clinical services that are available not only to assist patient and families but the community. These include:

    Art Program
    Camp Rainbow
    Child Advocacy
    Child Life
    Children's Advisory Council
    Community Outreach and Community Education
    Family Advisory Council
    FREE Friends and Family CPR Classes
    Infant Massage Class Schedule
    Injury Prevention Center
    Minority Outreach Programs
    Patient and Family Services
    Peace Room
    Phoenix Children's Hospital Continental Homes Safety House
    Preventing Child Abuse
    Psychosocial Programs in The Hemophilia Center
    Psychosocial Programs in the Children's Cancer Center
    Reach Out and Read