Catholic Healthcare West, the Roman Catholic giant based in San Francisco, is on a building rampage.
The system said last week it will open a 500-person branch office in Phoenix, the location of its St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.
The office will house a new not-for-profit unit, CHW Shared Business Services. The unit began operating earlier this month in a temporary location. It is expected to cost $294 million over seven years, but it will save CHW $772 million in the same period.
The office will handle materials management, information technology and other support services for several CHW facilities in the region. Initially the division will service CHW only, but it later might market its services to facilities outside the system.
Meanwhile, wildfire growth is the main reason CHW has decided to build a new acute-care hospital just eight miles west of the existing 102-bed St. Rose Dominican Hospital in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nev. The new 300-bed hospital, called St. Rose Dominican West, is expected to open in 1999 and cost $110 million to build. An additional $25 million has been budgeted for renovations to the existing St. Rose hospital.
Sprawling Henderson, which covers 80 square miles, has been the fastest-growing city in the U.S. five out of the past six years. It has exploded from a population of 80,000 people in 1992 to nearly 150,000 today and projected for 170,000 by 1999.
The population of St. Rose's primary service area, which includes unincorporated areas of Clark County along with Henderson, is expected to grow to more than 500,000 from its current 300,000 within the next five years.
As a result, St. Rose Dominican's annual admissions have increased nearly 80% since 1993, said Rod Davis, its chief executive officer.
Both Nashville-based Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. and King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services have constructed new hospitals in Las Vegas during the past year.
"The community did need more beds, and if we didn't do it, someone else would," Davis said.