Dr. Kenneth Pettit of Comprehensive Family Careis not giving up hope that a hospital will some day open in Ahwatukee Foothills, but for the moment he's focusing on a new venture by opening an urgent care facility in Chandler.

The new urgent care will open on Tuesday, July 5 on Kyrene Road between the Loop 202 and Chandler Boulevard. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Pettit, who has been fighting to open a hospital in Ahwatukee since 2006, says he has not given up hope for a hospital, but for now he must move forward with what he can do.

"The goal to put a hospital in Ahwatukee is my passion. It's not going to end," Pettit said. "I will continue to work on that as long as I have a pulse and there's no hospital here in Ahwatukee. I'm going to keep working to make it a reality, but I still have to grow my private practice and do what I need to do for my business."

Hospital plans have been crushed in the past when Pettit was unable to find an appropriate location for his eco-friendly, community hospital. Pettit says the recent health care reform was also a step back in the process.

"The health care reform bill says that doctors are not allowed to own hospitals," Pettit said. "This initially started down the pathway where I had a physicians group that was going to own the hospital. When the health care reform bill came out it just said across the board it can't be done. We had to go back and regroup and find a different model that would still allow physician support of the facility although they could not be owners of the facility. We had to change our plans, but I think we're back on track."

Pettit said even though he cannot own the hospital he does plan to stay heavily involved in the planning for one. He says as of now a location is still being decided along with funding for the project. There's no time line but Pettit says talks are still going on.

"As long as there's an option for that to go in out here I'm going to keep working on it," he said. "In the meantime, I still have to continue my businesses and do the things I think are right for my private businesses. The hospital is always on my mind and it's something I'll work on until something happens out here. Whether I do it or someone else does it, the goal is to get it done."

For now the task at hand is the new urgent care. Pettit invites anyone, sick or not, to come down and take a look at the new facility. He says they'll be able to treat anything a normal urgent care would be able to treat, from a runny nose to putting on a splint and supplying crutches.

"I'm very proud of the project we put together," Pettit said. "It's a great facility. We have another facility that we opened in Maricopa in 2006 and I'm proud that we've seen over 75,000 patients visit in that building in the last five years. That's a good number. I think we have a good track record with those patients and we're going to reproduce that up here."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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