In 50 years Chandler Regional Hospital has gone from a very small community hospital with just 25 employees to a 225-bed hospital with more than 2,000 employees. Now, as their anniversary comes up on July 17 they are looking forward to the future and to continued growth.

"It's really been 50 years of caring," said Patty White, president and CEO of Chandler Regional Medical Center. "I think the big changes we've seen are really in the growth of the medical center. We've seen a lot of growth and an increase in the complexity of the type of patients that we care for and we have plans to add another 100 beds in the next couple of years."

The hospital began with a team of volunteers canvassing the East Valley in 1957 to determine the interest in a hospital. Ninety-five percent of 1,521 people wanted a hospital. Doors opened in 1961, but the hospital later relocated in 1984 to its current location at Dobson and Frye roads.

Over the years the hospital has expanded the emergency department, created a full-service Cancer Center, a comprehensive heart and vascular center, a wound healing center and a Women's Imaging Center.

There are plans to expand the cardiac catheterization laboratories and build a new tower. The hospital also plans to offer neurosurgery services from Barrow Neurological Institute trained physicians in August.

In 50 years the hospital has received many awards, including being named a "Best Place to Work" by Modern Healthcare and the Phoenix Business Journal. Arizona Business Magazine named Chandler Regional a "Most Admired Company" and the hospital has received awards from the Chandler Chamber of Commerce for diversity and its impact on the city.

"I think our biggest accomplishment is being a community-based hospital," White said. "We do so many community-based services to meet the needs of the community and care for the poor and under served. I think the citizens of the East Valley really look to Chandler Regional as their hometown hospital. I feel like we've been a gift to the community and the community has been a gift to us."

The hospital is not planning any large public celebration of 50 years but they are planning a few internal celebrations for employees and donors. White says without their physician partners, board of directors and employees they would not be what they are today.

"They're very excited about where we've been and where we currently are and the future and growth and expansion of services. We wouldn't be what we are today if not for them."

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