Omaha-based medical college set to bring expanded services to Valley

Construction of the new medical center in Park Central is projected to finish in 2021. – Photo courtesy Creighton University

By Nicholas Johnsen

OMAHA, Neb. — It can be challenging to find exactly the right provider for what ails us in today’s vast medical world. Healthcare in the Valley of the Sun is no different. However, with a little boost from Middle America, things seem to be looking up.

Omaha may be an unfamiliar destination to many Tempe and West Chandler residents. That being said, some locals appear to have formed lifelong connections with the place.

Creighton University, found in the heart of Omaha, is one of the country’s premiere Jesuit universities, following a longstanding tradition of holistic education.

Jesuit teaching methodology is typically associated with education for action and a mission statement of creating “Women and men for others.”

Creighton’s medical school program is no exception.

As one of the top-ranked of its kind in the country, the combination of this mission with the best-in-class resources has consistently produced the quality of care that the east valley needs.

The midwestern Jesuit school has actively contributed to Phoenix’s health community since its partnership with Dignity Health St. Joseph’s in 2009.

The program allows for students to complete their last one or two years of medical school in metro Phoenix, posing an opportunity to contribute invaluable skill outside of the already saturated Omaha area.

The university recently unveiled plans to construct an entirely new medical campus at Park Central in midtown, including a four-year medical school, nursing program, occupational and physical therapy schools, pharmacy school, physician-assistant training and emergency medical services program.

Construction began in July, and is expected to be completed in 2021.

“Creighton University is preparing for an exciting new era in Phoenix, one that combines our tradition for educational excellence in the health sciences with our distinctive Jesuit, Catholic mission,” said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton.

After speaking with a local healthcare professional in the East Valley, it’s clear that the contribution is definitely welcome.

Tempe cardiac radiologist Dick Petersen emphasized that there’s always room for more quality health professionals.

As a CU graduate himself, Petersen is on the alumni advisory board for the medical school and is enthusiastic about the development.

“The current program is limited in a few areas, but now Creighton can align itself with places like Barrow Neurological Institute.

“It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Petersen expressed that, especially over the last five or six years, all those involved have been happy with the way the connection developed.

As the population in the Valley steadily increases, more quality care sets up a win-win-win.

“It’s good for the students, it’s good for St. Joe’s, and it’s good for the medical community in the Valley.”

With both the momentum and positive feedback growing, the greater Phoenix area is shaping up to be a significant healthcare force to be reckoned with.

Editor’s note: Nicholas Johnsen, a graduate of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, served an internship with Wrangler News during the past summer.

He will continue to contribute articles of interest to our readership during his last year at Creighton until he graduates next spring.

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