Plans for the first ever Southern Arizona hospital in Green Valley AZ took two giant steps forward in December.  On December 18, 2012 the Pima County Board Of Supervisors unanimously approved the zoning variances required for the project and, the sale of the land on which the hospital will be built was also finalized in December. 

Although the land was zoned for commercial use, county approval was needed for the size and height of the building, which exceed current regulations.  Developers are working closely to address concerns of nearby neighbors, and have assured astronomers from the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on nearby Mount Hopkins that they will be well within the county's dark skies ordinance, which is one of the strictest in the country.

However, support for the hospital far outweighs those with concerns.  A recent community needs assessment shows that Green Valley Arizona, home to many retirees, is medically under served as the area does not currently have a hospital or emergency room, and residents must travel at least 30 minutes by car to get advanced emergency care.

Included in the plans for the hospital are a rehabilitation center, medical offices, cardiac catheterization lab, four operating rooms, on-site radiological imaging labs, 26 inpatient private rooms, a six-bed intensive-care unit, a helipad, and the potential to expand from 32 beds to 50. Officials have said they will build with the ability to expand the hospital as the community grows.

The hospital is tentatively planned to open in 2014.