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New hospitals grow with Southeast Tucson's boom

New NW Hospital now open. New TMC hospital on way
Posted at 7:06 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 02:00:18-04

People want their medical care close to home—and there are plenty of new homes popping up on Tucson’s southeast side.

That’s led to a new hospital that’s just opened there, and another new hospital on the way.

Northwest Medical Center has just opened a brand new hospital on Houghton near Old Spanish Trail–and that says a lot about growth on Tucson’s Southeast side.

“As the population has gone further south further east, we've gone with it,” says Brian Sinotte, Market CEO for Northwest Healthcare.

The new Northwest Medical Center-Houghton has 52 beds, surgical suites, maternity services, and a full emergency department. When Northwest looked for new areas that would be eager for close, convenient medical care, it saw the need in Tucson’s fast growing southeast side.

Sinott says, the hospital built medical offices nearby and has built in the ability to expand the new hospital as the area grows even more.

“More physicians will be coming to the community to provide care. We have a lot of interest from physicians looking to establish here, new physicians, both out of residency and physicians who are practicing here in the community that really think that's a wonderful location to practice medicine in the future.”

There’s been aggressive growth around Civano and Vail for many years. It’s really accelerated in the past two or three years.

Tucson Medical Center says it foresaw the growth and started placing medical offices and other facilities in the area about 20 years ago. Now it is expanding an existing complex at Houghton and Drexel to add a 60 bed hospital.

Both TMC and Northwest say patients want to see a hospital no more than 15 minutes away—and on the southeast side, there are more and more patients looking for hospital care close to home.

TMC Healthcare CEO Judy Rich says, “We planned all this before COVID. We felt like the economy had gotten to the point where we were going to continue to see sustained growth in that area, enough to support a hospital and we've really invested in that community. We've been meeting with neighborhoods out there for 15 years.”

TMC expects its new hospital to create about 250 jobs. Northwest says its hospital should add 300.

Those people will likely fuel even more growth if they choose to live near the new hospitals.

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.