Northern Arizona Healthcare – Major Expansion
Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) is committed to delivering high-quality health care close to home for the patients and communities we have the honor to serve. For more than 50 years, we have focused on improving health and healing people, and our plan is to provide exceptional care for generations to come.
We are excited to share information about our proposed Health and Wellness Village anchored by a state-of-the-art hospital and ambulatory care center on land north of Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff.
This significant investment in necessary improvements and expansions of our health care services and campuses will ensure NAH can best serve communities throughout northern Arizona for years to come.
Our plan is to design and bring to life a Health and Wellness Village featuring hospital-based health care, outpatient surgery, imaging, rehabilitation and clinic spaces all on one site. With a focus on the holistic well-being of our community, the future development will serve as a community gathering spot with amenities including new housing, dining, retail, grocery, lodging and a 22-acre natural retreat with trails integrated with Flagstaff’s existing trail system (FUTS).
As the proposed Health and Wellness Village moves through the development process with the City of Flagstaff, we will continue to involve community members, neighbors, and others in discussions about our vision for the future and the benefits for Flagstaff and northern Arizona. This summer, we will host a community meeting for those wanting to know more about the development. The date will be announced pending additional input from the City of Flagstaff.
Will there be an expansion of existing services or the introduction of new ones in conjunction with new construction?
- Our NAH Health and Wellness Village will bring the highest-quality medical services to Flagstaff and northern Arizona. It will include state-of-the-art facilities, private, suite-style patient rooms, an expanded emergency department with faster service, and more.
- Patients will have access to expanded clinical options such as more comprehensive oncology services, expanded therapy and rehabilitation, a wound-healing program with hyperbaric chambers, and convenient outpatient imaging.
Will some services or care currently being offered by NAH be stopped or cancelled?
- Our plans for the Health and Wellness Village are built on the opportunity to expand our heath care offerings, including providing more comprehensive oncology services, expanded therapy and rehabilitation, a wound-healing program with hyperbaric chambers, and convenient outpatient imaging.
How will the patient population change over time? Will new construction be flexible enough to respond to this evolution?
- We know northern Arizona will continue to attract new residents of all ages, but people in Arizona specifically are leading longer lives and experiencing age-related health complications.
- We are designing our new Health and Wellness Village so that we can adapt our facilities to evolving health care needs of the community and ensure our colleagues continue to provide high-quality care to their patients.
- The new facilities will provide us the flexibility needed to accommodate emerging health care technologies as well mechanical systems that have the capacity to handle any future pandemic-related issues as we saw in 2020.
- In addition, the hospital’s design will allow for an increased bed count under one roof and centralize in-patient treatment.
- Patient care areas will be designed to ensure optimal nurse-to-patient ratios and improve patient experience.
- Nurses and doctors will have more space to store equipment and supplies critical to their work delivering exceptional care.
- The new ambulatory care clinic will create a one-stop-shop for outpatient care including outpatient imaging, surgery and multi-specialty physician care.
How does the new construction in Flagstaff fit with what is happening at NAH’s other campuses?
- The proposed Health and Wellness Village in Flagstaff is part of a comprehensive plan to continuously improve care for our patients throughout northern Arizona now and for generations to come.
- Other examples of commitment to the Verde Valley, Cottonwood and Sedona areas are updates to the Verde Valley Medical Clinic – Camp Verde, a new Cottonwood Medical Office Building in 2019, and continued focus and expansion of programs in breast health and cancer care in Sedona.
- Future plans may also include a new ambulatory surgery center in Cottonwood and continued improvements and facility enhancements at Verde Valley Medical Center.
Is the Health and Wellness Village one phase of a multi-phase program?
- The proposed new hospital campus, ambulatory care center and ultimately the Health and Wellness Village, will be developed in multiple phases between 2023 and 2045 – pending necessary approvals from the City of Flagstaff.
- The first phase will include the heart of the development: a new hospital and ambulatory care center. The ambulatory care center is proposed to open in 2025 with the hospital opening in 2027.
- Phase Two (2025-2030) will feature housing, a hotel, restaurants, retail and more. Phase Three (2027-2035) will include a conference center, clinical partnerships and more. The final phase (2030-2040) is proposed to include an incubator space along with research and development facilities.
Will this hospital replace the current Flagstaff Medical Center?
- Yes. The proposed Health and Wellness Village, anchored by the new hospital and ambulatory care center, will be the primary location for our ambulatory and in-patient care facilities and other related services offered by NAH in Flagstaff.
What will happen to the existing Flagstaff Medical Center campus?
- Discussions are underway about the future use of the existing Flagstaff Medical Center.
- We anticipate future development of the existing campus will begin in 2028. While it is too early in the process to know what redevelopment will look like, we have established a redevelopment council that includes civic and community leaders, and other stakeholders.
What if there is a long delay in securing other business use for the Flagstaff Medical Center campus?
- Discussions are underway about the future use of the existing Flagstaff Medical Center, and we anticipate future development of the existing campus will begin in 2028.
Is this project already approved? What does the planning process look like?
- This project has not yet been approved by the City of Flagstaff. NAH has applied for Specific Plan approval and Regional Plan amendment. As of June 2022 and pending City of Flagstaff review, the project may go before the Flagstaff’s Planning and Zoning Commission followed by a Flagstaff City Council vote later this year.
How will this move affect EMS response times?
- EMS response times will not be impacted by the relocation of the hospital, as Guardian Medical Transport has four stations throughout the area where ambulances are dispatched, if not already out in the field.
- The majority of patients being transported could experience shorter transport times (between where they are picked up and the hospital) as the result of the new campus being close to the intersection of the two major interstate highways.
- Transport of patients from the northern and northwestern areas of Flagstaff may have longer transport times. However, the patient is receiving quality care during transport.
- Additionally, proposed roadways and roadway improvements (according to the City’s regional plan) will continue to decrease transport times to the new location.
Will there be a helipad at the new hospital and, if so, will it interfere with the airport?
- We will have a helipad at the new facility. It has not yet been determined if this will be a ground-mounted or roof-mounted landing spot. We are coordinating the work with the Airport Commission and will file all necessary applications with the FAA to ensure proper safety.
How is this going to affect Traffic?
- While we are still in the early stages of planning, we anticipate the new facility will improve the flow of traffic in downtown Flagstaff.
- For example, the proposed location for the new Health and Wellness Village will reduce the number of emergency vehicles that must travel through Flagstaff’s downtown area.
- NAH remains committed to working with city traffic engineers, ADOT and Mountain Line to accommodate the proposed traffic this development will bring.
- We also continue to work with our EMS partners to ensure we have safe travel times to our new location for emergency services.
Will this increase NAH’s costs of care to patients?
- The Health and Wellness Village will benefit our patients by allowing us to deliver comprehensive, high-quality health care close to home. Building the new facilities will not directly impact health care costs.
- This is a budget-neutral development plan and will be funded through a variety of mechanisms, including capital investment and the work of NAH’s Office of Philanthropy, which is tasked with fundraising initiatives.
How much is the anticipated cost of this project and how is it being funded?
- The current budget for the hospital and ambulatory center is more than $800 million. This is inclusive of the building itself, site work that relates to the hospital campus as well as equipment, design costs and permitting.
- NAH will fund the development of the new campus through our own budget and funding sources. NAH will not be seeking community funding through the City of Flagstaff or other similar measures.
Are there any other anticipated costs or taxes that residents and the community as a whole should expect to take on as a result of this initiative?
- We do not anticipate that it will impact taxes or property values negatively.
- We have carefully considered how to move forward with the development of the new hospital and ambulatory services, along with the other amenities and facilities planned for the village without financially impacting the community.
What is the environmental impact?
- NAH plans to develop our land in an environmentally respectful manner.
- This is evidenced by our continued coordination with the county parks department to ensure proper coordination with the FUTS trails, submission of the application of our heritage preservation commission application as well as partnerships with groups such as GFFP (Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership) with whom we are already working to ensure the forest is treated in a healthy fashion that supports fire prevention.
- In addition to being respectful of the land around us, this new development also gives us the opportunity to design and build a more energy-efficient health care setting than the current FMC. Although we are increasing in size, we are expecting a reduction in energy consumption of up to 30 percent.
Are there any anticipated challenges or opportunities for the landscape or environment related to the new construction?
- As we develop the new Health and Wellness Village, we are keeping in mind the important role nature plays in improving health and wellbeing, and we are taking into consideration the surrounding environment.
- Our goal is to create a gathering place for the community that is integrated with the natural environment. This will include building new nature trails that will be integrated with Flagstaff’s existing trail system to make the area more accessible to the entire community. We also are planning our designs and construction to minimize the impact on the area.
What external factors (like adjacent property development or public transportation options) will impact the way the facility evolves?
- We are confident the proposed location will help us improve the accessibility of health care for the northern Arizona region.
- For example, the new location will be easier to access for our patients and their families, who often must navigate downtown roads and traffic that do not easily accommodate the volume of traffic the current FMC creates.
- As planning continues, we will work with the City of Flagstaff and others to address questions and concerns, and to take into consideration recommendations for how the Health and Wellness Village can serve the needs of our community.
How does this affect economic development and growth in Flagstaff?
- Upon full buildout, it is estimated the Health and Wellness Village will generate an additional $389 million/year in economic benefit for Flagstaff and northern Arizona over and above the existing Flagstaff Medical Center.
- In addition to the economic benefits, $4.5 million in annual tax revenue (e.g., property) will be generated for local jurisdictions like the Flagstaff Unified School District and Coconino Community College.
- The focus on creating new facilities and services that will bring the next generation of health care to Flagstaff will create new jobs and careers – keeping local talent close to home and attracting new residents who can build their future here.
- The new Health and Wellness Village also will generate new jobs and revenue through the construction phases over the course of five years and create opportunities for local and national businesses that support healthy lifestyles to open locations in Flagstaff.
- A full economic development report has been put together and submitted to the City of Flagstaff as part of our planning and zoning submission.
Is this a second business district that is going to take away from the current downtown?
- We believe the Health and Wellness Village’s future offerings will complement and expand the unique offerings of downtown Flagstaff and provide new amenities that improve the overall quality of life.
- We also believe that the new Health and Wellness Village will provide practical improvements such as reducing the number of emergency vehicles that must travel through the downtown area – making the downtown area more enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.
Proposed Health and Wellness Village
We believe NAH’s proposal will bring substantial benefits to the patients and communities we’re honored to serve, and we welcome your questions about our proposed Health and Wellness Village.