Scottsdale Healthcare Marks 50th Anniversary

Scottsdale Healthcare celebrates its 50th anniversary in May. The health-care organization has grown in size and sophistication with the community it serves, fulfilling city namesake Winfield Scott’s dream of Scottsdale becoming an oasis for health.


Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center opened as City Hospital of Scottsdale on May 15, 1962, with local doctors forming the first medical staff and local women creating an auxiliary to volunteer their support. The one-story hospital was built on a former cotton field near Scottsdale and Osborn Roads and opened with 200 employees and a medical staff of 55.


Above: City Hospital in 1962. The hospital opened May 15, 1962, and the first baby

was born May 19. 

Photo at top: Hybrid OR is one of the latest technological advances

at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.


Today, that hospital is a 337-bed Level 1 Trauma Center and Primary Stroke Center known for its emergency and trauma, orthopedics, cardiovascular, neurosciences and other services including one of the nation’s largest civilian hospital-based military trauma training programs.


“Scottsdale Healthcare has been successful because of our spirit and culture of innovation,” says Tom Sadvary, president and CEO. “The reason I came here was that pioneer spirit – the notion of creating, shepherding, developing something new. We have a culture of ‘let’s try, let’s be innovative, let’s invest in new ways to better serve our community and system going forward.’ ”


“Our 50th anniversary reinforces what an integral part of the community Scottsdale Healthcare has become. It’s amazing to think of the number of lives touched,” adds Gary Baker, senior vice president and Osborn administrator.


Locally based, locally led

Scottsdale Healthcare is the city’s largest employer with 6,700 employees and an economic anchor providing stable, well-paying jobs.


In 2002, Dr. Bernard Gburek performed the first daVinci prostatectomy in Arizona.


Based in Scottsdale, decisions are made locally with the community’s interests in mind. Scottsdale Healthcare brought many firsts to Arizona, things we now take for granted, such as MRIs and daVinci robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery.


“Our city’s residents are fortunate to have world-class care right here in their own backyards,” says Sadvary. “From our community physicians to physician scientists, you don’t need to travel elsewhere for the latest in medicine.”


Expanding access to care

As the Valley grew so did Scottsdale Healthcare, opening Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in 1984, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in 2001 and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital in 2007.


Scottsdale Healthcare medical centers are located approximately 10 miles apart to offer care for the southern, central and northern parts of Scottsdale and its neighboring communities.


Nancy Reagan attended the 1984 dedication of Scottsdale Memorial-North, now referred to as Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.


The 433-bed Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center is easily accessed from Loop 101 and Shea Blvd. Its emergency, cardiovascular, orthopedics, women’s and children’s services, bariatric and minimally invasive and robotic surgical programs rank high in quality and patient satisfaction. The hospital is home to the only dedicated pediatric ER serving the northeast Valley.



Known for its innovative cancer treatment and research, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center attracts patients from across the nation and overseas. Its clinical trials program helps speed development of new cancer treatments.


Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital is the Valley’s first hospital north of Loop 101, serving northeast Phoenix, Cave Creek, Carefree and north Scottsdale. Located at Scottsdale Road and Thompson Peak Parkway, the 64-bed community hospital is a certified chest pain center and offers orthopedic and spine services, gynecologic oncology, along with general medical and surgical services including minimally invasive robotics.


Magnet for the best nurses

One of the most significant achievements for the system is Magnet recognition. Scottsdale Healthcare is Arizona’s first and only multihospital health system to achieve this prestigious designation, considered the gold standard of nursing care and the benchmark for consumers to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive in a hospital.



Few health organizations with multiple hospitals successfully complete the Magnet process, which makes system-wide recognition a rare honor, notes Peggy Reiley, senior vice president and chief nursing officer.


A toast to the hospital's Magnet recognition


“Literally everywhere nursing is practiced throughout our health system was examined by surveyors from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. When an organization receives the Magnet designation, the ANCC recognizes its nursing excellence, teamwork, quality outcomes and patient satisfaction,” says Reiley.


“What makes this special is we are the first hospital system in Arizona and one of just a few systems in the country to receive Magnet status. I’m very proud of this accomplishment because it recognizes our staff members for the personalized care they provide to our patients,” she adds.


Community support

Scottsdale Healthcare’s success would not be possible without the support of the community serves – from its dedicated volunteers to the leading community members who serve without pay on its board of directors and the Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation’s board of trustees, to the many who give generously to the foundation.


Board members are local residents, so they understand community needs. “As a nonprofit, Scottsdale Healthcare is held in community trust, and each board member is dedicated to ensuring that our system has the agility and creativity to do what’s needed to meet our community’s needs,” says Steve Wheeler, board chairman.


Philanthropy helped create and enhance programs and services that have provided leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities. Generous donors have contributed nearly $200 million to Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation since its launch in 1984.


Max Poll, who retired as Scottsdale Healthcare president and CEO in 2005, with

philanthropist Virginia G. Piper in 1993.


“Philanthropy has played a very vital role in Scottsdale Healthcare’s success. Significant funds have been raised that free the system’s resources for other uses, all of which work together to benefit the people in our community,” explains Laura Grafman, Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation executive vice president.


Generations of caring staff

Many generations of employees, physicians, volunteers and patients consider Scottsdale Healthcare as “My Hospital.”


For Janet Simmons and her daughter Malia, Scottsdale Healthcare’s growth has meant an opportunity to do different things. A staff member for 33 years, Janet started in Osborn’s ICU and today is a clinical system specialist in Information Services. Malia also is a nurse at Osborn.


Maila and her mother, Janet Simmons, are both Scottsdale Healthcare nurses.


“What we do here at Scottsdale Healthcare is important. I feel good about the fact that we have a caring and talented generation following,” says Janet.


“We are entering our next 50 years with great optimism, with the goal of continuous, coordinated care provided at the highest quality and lowest cost,” says Sadvary. “Our focus remains on quality, innovation and value to create a healthier community and providing care over a lifetime.”


Photos and story courtesy Scottsdale Healthcare





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