Dr. Felipe Gonzalez, or Dr. G as he was fondly known, was a Valley pediatric neonatologist and pulmonologist who served as Hacienda’s Medical Director from 1992 until 2002. It was his vision of patient-centered, value-based care that forged Hacienda’s continuum of care into what it is today.
In 1993 there was only one post-acute care setting available for children who needed care after being discharged from a large hospital. The California-based for-profit hospital was located in Phoenix and contracted with a group of physicians (that included Dr. G) to provide pediatric services. When the California-based group decided to withdraw from the Phoenix market, Dr. G persuaded Hacienda’s Board of Directors to take over the hospital.
This proposal stirred internal debate, but the challenge of operating a hospital was accepted. The hospital was renamed and opened in 1994 as Hacienda de los Niños—Arizona’s first freestanding children’s hospital. For the first time, infants, children, and teens who have complex medical conditions and need more time to heal had the post-acute care they deserved. Today, this model of total-patient/family-centered care that Dr. G envisioned is still provided at Hacienda Children’s Hospital in Mesa.
In 1999, Dr. G received his first bone-marrow transplant and beat the odds against leukemia. Despite the challenges he faced, Dr. G lived graciously and courageously until his death in 2002.
Today, we continue to honor his legacy by emulating his compassion and devotion for all in our care.