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Latest News in Buckeye, AZ

Verrado Marketplace: Here’s what site plan shows is coming

In addition to plenty of retail options, the proposed Verrado Marketplace will feature movie theaters, a gym and a grocery store, according to site plans for the proposed retail center.DMB Associates, the Master Developer of the Verrado ...

In addition to plenty of retail options, the proposed Verrado Marketplace will feature movie theaters, a gym and a grocery store, according to site plans for the proposed retail center.

DMB Associates, the Master Developer of the Verrado master planned community, announced in earlier this year that it is partnering with Vestar, the largest privately-held shopping center owner, developer, and manager in the western United States, to create Verrado Marketplace, a dynamic retail center at the front door of Verrado, an 8,800-acre master-planned community in Buckeye, Arizona.

READ ALSO: Here’s how the West Valley is capitalizing on development boom

The DMB/Vestar team is planning for a retail development called Verrado Marketplace that will include over 500,000-square-feet of commercial space and will be poised to serve as a Town Center for not only the residents of Verrado, but also the residents of Buckeye to enjoy.

Verrado Marketplace will be designed to complement the small-town neighborhood charm that is the hallmark of the Verrado community. It is anticipated the project will feature a premier grocery store as well as other uses such as apparel and home decor stores, department store, movie theater, and several new specialty shops, restaurants, and services. The project will feature large public outdoor spaces rich in amenities that will serve as another gathering spot for all the surrounding communities. Vestar is well known for hosting hundreds of free community events each year at similar projects like Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace.

“Verrado is a truly special place,” said David Larcher, President & CEO of Vestar. “For over 30 years, we have developed successful retail environments that become important gathering spots and economic hubs for their community, and Verrado Marketplace will be no different. We are excited to be partnering with a visionary company like DMB and especially to be developing at the front door of the Verrado community.”

“We believe Vestar is the perfect partner to develop a primary town center of Verrado,” said Susan Bansak, Chief Executive Officer of DMB. “Both companies are driven to create thoughtful and inspiring places, and we look forward to a successful collaboration.”

The Marketplace will be developed at the northeast corner of Verrado Way and I-10. It is expected to break ground in mid-2023 following necessary approvals from the City and will complement the existing commercial services already in place on the west side of Verrado Way.

Here’s how the West Valley is attracting healthcare innovators

The West Valley, much like the rest of Metro Phoenix is in the middle of a growth spurt. And, just like a sudden burst of height during high school causes soreness, the rapid pace of development on the west side comes with some aches and pains. As the region expands, more residents have found themselves living significant distances from the clusters of healthcare infrastructure. For example, a Buckeye resident must drive their child some 40 miles to receive top-notch medical care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s main facility on ...

The West Valley, much like the rest of Metro Phoenix is in the middle of a growth spurt. And, just like a sudden burst of height during high school causes soreness, the rapid pace of development on the west side comes with some aches and pains. As the region expands, more residents have found themselves living significant distances from the clusters of healthcare infrastructure. For example, a Buckeye resident must drive their child some 40 miles to receive top-notch medical care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s main facility on Thomas Road.

Luckily, finding a healthcare professional to treat medical issues — from mundane to acute — is becoming easier in the municipalities that populate the western reaches of the nation’s 10th largest metropolitan area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Last year, Phoenix Children’s Hospital announced three new facilities in the West Valley representing a nearly $200 million West Valley healthcare investment that will generate 650 new permanent jobs — the Arrowhead Campus in Glendale, the Southwest Campus in Avondale and Phoenix Children’s Sports Medicine Clinic in Avondale.

READ ALSO: 5 of 10 fastest-growing Arizona cities are in the West Valley

LEARN MORE: Learn more about WESTMARC

Banner Health is also expanding its presence in the region. During the 2022 WESTMARC Healthcare Summit, Amy Perry, president and chief operating officer of Banner Health, talked about the organization building a new hospital in Buckeye.

“We expect to open in the fall of 2024 with approximately 120 beds, imaging, surgery, labor and delivery, intensive care [and an] emergency room,” she says. “We are going to spend about $400 million over the next five years, and over $1 billion when fully built out in 10 years. It’s going to create more than 600 jobs over the next five years and more than 2,000 when fully built out.”

This infusion of new facilities will increase the quality of life for residents, along with supporting a core sector in the region. “Healthcare is a leading industry in the West Valley, with 36% of all healthcare workers in Maricopa County living here,” says Sintra Hoffman, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Healthcare follows numbers, and our population today is 1.7 million residents. There’s such a demand for healthcare — we’re all getting older and taking care of aging parents.”

While also expanding their footprint, healthcare organizations are contending with changing trends in the field, some present prior to the pandemic, and others a direct result of it.

A building boom is underway in Metro Phoenix. Malls from a bygone era, such as Metrocenter and Paradise Valley Mall, are being reconstituted into mixed-use urban villages. West of the White Tanks, the master-planned community Douglas Ranch will house 300,000 residents in 100,000 homes once completed. In Queen Creek, LG is spending approximately $1.4 billion on the first cylindrical-type battery manufacturing plant in North America.

Jake Dinnen, senior vice president of development for Pacific Medical Buildings, says at the 2022 WESTMARC Healthcare Summit that across the board, the Phoenix market is on fire. “The growth is just unbelievable. Trying to keep up through providing supplies and healthcare services is a challenge for all healthcare providers,” he notes. “There’s so much demand for medical [space]. Projects we did four years ago cost $100 per square foot to build. Today it’s $180 or $190, and we all know healthcare providers aren’t making more money now than they were four years ago.”

Beyond rising costs, an added complication in ensuring the whole Valley has adequate healthcare facilities stems from the way Metro Phoenix has spread out development, according to Hans Driessnack, CEO of Abrazo West Campus. Other large cities, he says, traditionally operate with a hub-and-spoke model where there are a few large hospitals in the downtown area, with smaller hospitals that surround the outlying suburb areas that send high acuity patients to the centrally located facilities.

“Phoenix has developed pockets of healthcare,” Driessnack says. “Spreading out that way has created advantages and disadvantages overall for healthcare delivery, but for the West Valley, it’s a chance to continue to see advanced levels of care being delivered there. If we were constantly sending everyone downtown for anything high acuity, that would be a detriment as we [develop] farther west. It ends up benefiting us as a city to have more access to higher-level care in a closer proximity to the communities where people live.”

A trend Driessnack has observed in the healthcare system — and accelerated by the pandemic — is a push for more outpatient facilities. He notes that hospitals used to be the center hub to get all types of care, whether it be elective, outpatient or inpatient.

“If you wanted an X-ray or a CT, the hospital is where you went. But in just the last five years, the number of freestanding imaging centers have come up; [physical therapy], [occupation therapy] and speech [therapy] have moved into the outpatient environment; ambulatory surgery centers are popping up all over the place.

“Although the payers love this because it’s a cheaper area of care,” Driessnack continues, “it’s been disjointed. The next stage of this trend is going to be unifying those outpatient areas into healthcare systems — not absorbed, but partnered with. That way there’s continuity of handoff in between those environments.”

Another trend Kara McNamara, vice president of sales at Corporate Interior Systems, has encountered is an evolution of how healthcare facilities are designed. She worked on the HonorHealth Sonoran Crossing Medical Center and notes it was ahead of the curve.

“What we ended up doing there now has been accelerated and replicated since the pandemic,” McNamara explains at the 2022 WESTMARC Healthcare Summit. “Instead of lining up rows and rows of seats next to each other, we’re planning neighborhoods and paths for families to be in the waiting room together. There are individual spaces, so people that are not part of a family can separate.”

The goal, according to McNamara, is to create as much flexibility as possible under one roof, which using prefabricated construction materials helps to achieve. She also stresses the importance of creating a soothing environment.

“The pandemic created so much anxiety for people,” McNamara says. “Bringing biophilia into the building, even creating exterior spaces for people to wait indoors and outdoors, and simply putting beautiful art in the space and having beautiful landscapes provides calm and helps people have shorter stays, use less medication, have less anxiety and less pain.”

With well over two years having passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health crisis, highlighting the impact it had on the adoption of technology seems somewhat passé. Still, the opportunities provided by expanding digital care options for patients shouldn’t be understated.

“[The pandemic] forever changed how we’re going to do our business,” Perry says. “One of the most significant advancements in our industry is the work in the digital sector.”

She adds that the industry had been slowly expanding telehealth options, which was supercharged by the coronavirus since it was the best way to connect with patients as hospital beds filled up. Folks like Perry’s 80-year-old mother — who didn’t have a smartphone — had to figure out how to navigate an online care environment using technology she was unfamiliar with. Despite the challenges, digital natives and newcomers alike flocked to telehealth services, which Perry notes experienced tremendous growth, with Banner recording an 8,000% increase in online visits.

“The biggest thing we all found is we can provide health care effectively, differently. And we really have to look at what is next. How are we going to innovate? How are we going to connect with people in a different, more convenient way?” Perry posits. “85% of our consumers are saying they don’t want to come into a medical office and take time out of their day unless they have to.”

Restructuring how healthcare is delivered will help reduce the time spent in a facility, such as having laboratory services show up at a patient’s door. Moreover, using telehealth services can lessen the workload for healthcare professionals administering bedside care — a welcome addition for a sector wrought with burnout.

“Not only do [digital solutions] impact how we care for our consumers and how we connect with our workforce, but there’s so many ways that digital is going to change healthcare, hopefully a lot in automation,” Perry says. “We have to look at everything we do. Could this be automated? Do we need a person to do this? Or is there a way to change the process?”

Banner currently uses automation to identify patients who are at high risk using the organization’s electronic health record. “We have a deterioration index that’s built into our health record that will alert our care team,” Perry explains. “If there’s something between the nurse’s notes, the physician’s notes, the lab work and the vitals that are spelling out potential deterioration — get in front of it. Those machine learning algorithms are the future.”

Another potential vector for innovation Perry mentions is the smartphone. As facial recognition software gets better, she says it can determine a person’s pulse oximetry and other biometrics.

“That’s the kind of technology that will keep people well and will ultimately make healthcare more affordable,” she concludes. “That’s what we all need to fight for.”

Monsoon brings flooding, dust storms, hail to Arizona: Live radar, updates

PHOENIX - Severe monsoon weather continues to roll across Arizona this week, with high winds, heavy rain, and dust sweeping across multiple counties.On Wednesday, there is about a 30% chance of rain for the Phoenix area. Heavy rainfall is expected across the state, with flash flooding possible in the high county and in portions of southern Arizona.A ...

PHOENIX - Severe monsoon weather continues to roll across Arizona this week, with high winds, heavy rain, and dust sweeping across multiple counties.

On Wednesday, there is about a 30% chance of rain for the Phoenix area. Heavy rainfall is expected across the state, with flash flooding possible in the high county and in portions of southern Arizona.

A Flood Watch is in effect for much of the state through early Wednesday night.

Get the latest alerts, advisories in your area here.

Flooding threat remains in parts of northern Arizona

Storm chances are expected to increase, which poses a major threat for northern Arizona residents living near burn scars.

"The threat of thunderstorms will continue each day this week, with the highest chances on Tuesday," National Weather Service Phoenix tweeted. "Any storms that develop will be capable of producing heavy rain, frequent lightning, strong winds and blowing dust. Temperatures will remain a few degrees below normal."

Parts of Flagstaff have seen multiple rounds of flash flooding this monsoon season, and some residents in the area are having problems dealing with insurance.

"When the fire first happened -- I was here 12 years ago -- I knew that it was going to happen again because when the mountain burned, it flooded. So I called my State Farm rep and I said 'I'm going to need flood insurance.' They said you're not in a flood zone, and I said, 'I know, but we had the fire, and I'm going to need it.' And he said, 'OK, we'll get back to you.' Well, a week went by, and they didn't get back to me," said Chase Wilson. "That following Monday, I called and said, ‘remember how I said I was going to need flood insurance?’ And they were like, ‘yeah?’ ‘Well, my house flooded. It would have been helpful.’"

Wilson's property has been flooded six times, and each time, his house was damaged more and more. He said he went through his Arizona-based State Farm rep named Justin Simons, and the homeowner asked the local insurance agent if State Farm could backdate flood insurance, since he has the call logs proving he asked for flood insurance two weeks before this monsoon season turned into a nightmare.

"I looked up some Arizona laws saying that there were cases where a flood was caused by a fire, very similar situation. And under Arizona, they had the insurance company that was involved in that case pay for it. So in my claim, I sent them that information. I sent them verification that this was caused by the fire up there, the burn scar, the water, everything the county had," said Wilson.

Wilson said the example he provided was "Irrelevant".

We reached out to Simons' office, and workers at the office said they will get back to our request for information on the case. They did not. We also reached out to the national State Farm office with Wilson's claim number and information. Officials with that office replied with a statement that reads:

"We can't speak to the specifics of any claim due to our customer privacy policy. As an organization, we take pride in our customer service and are committed to paying what we owe, promptly, courteously, and efficiently. Each claim is unique and handled based on its own individual merits and the facts of the loss."

You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.

Live radar

Latest forecast

Live updates

Aug. 9 weather

In the Phoenix area, the far West Valley felt the storm's power Monday, with some neighborhoods experiencing high winds, rain, and even hail.

At about 9:20 p.m., the National Weather Service's office in Phoenix warned the Buckeye area of a severe storm and reported that a wind gust of 77 miles per hour had been measured by a huge dairy in the area. On Aug. 8, NWS officials say there is evidence that a microburst or a downburst hit the area around that time.

Dairy workers who live next to the Triple G Farm did suffer some damage to their homes, but no one was reported injured. The dairy stretches over 160 acres near Broadway Road and 228th Avenue, and it is home to Thousands of cows. Dairy officials say despite damage to several buildings and even minor damage to their grain silo, all of the cows were safe.

The rain continued to fall early Tuesday morning, however, it diminished close to sunrise before increasing in the afternoon hours.

Rain/flood safety tips

The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:

Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon

"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.

GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:

Phoenix-area storms and flooding cause commuter headaches, outages, delays at Sky Harbor

Overnight storms in the Valley left flooded roads, power outages in the area and affected operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport early Thursday.North Phoenix had heavy rainfall with more than 1.5 inches received in some areas as of 6:45 a.m., according to the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. Near the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, up to 1.81 inches of rain was recorded.There were reports of floods around 5 a.m. on Interstate 17 southbound near Cactus Road and around 6 a.m. at State Route 41...

Overnight storms in the Valley left flooded roads, power outages in the area and affected operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport early Thursday.

North Phoenix had heavy rainfall with more than 1.5 inches received in some areas as of 6:45 a.m., according to the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. Near the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, up to 1.81 inches of rain was recorded.

There were reports of floods around 5 a.m. on Interstate 17 southbound near Cactus Road and around 6 a.m. at State Route 41 southbound near McDowell Road, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Flooding was also reported in both directions of I-17 at Indian School Road around 6 a.m. There was traffic in the area and cars could be seen traveling on the flooded road. The flooding cleared a short time later.

"We want to remind drivers to keep your distance and don't tailgate in rain and don't drive into flooded roads, a car can be swept away in just 12 inches of water," ADOT said in a statement.

There were no restrictions on highways around 8:30 a.m. due to weather conditions, according to ADOT.

A flash flood warning was extended until noon Saturday for Globe. A flood advisory is also in effect until 12:45 for Maricopa and La Paz counties, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

According to the weather service, residents can expect minor flooding and poor drainage areas. Drivers are advised to turn around if they encounter flooded roads.

At Sky Harbor Airport, the weather caused some delays and cancellations on Thursday morning, said Eric Everts, spokesperson for the airport. He said Southwest Airlines had some connectivity issues due to the storm.

Passengers can check delays and cancellations on the airport's flight status page at https://www.skyharbor.com/Results/flight-status. According to the website, 26 flights were canceled and 83 were delayed as of Thursday evening, for flights scheduled from midnight until 1 a.m. Friday.

"We encourage travelers to check their flight status and make arrangements with their airline regarding impacts to their specific operation," Everts said.

Dan Landson, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, said in an emailed statement that there were issues with Southwest's systems, but their teams were able to restore connectivity with local systems that were affected by the storms and they began resuming their operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor as of 8 a.m.

"We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get them to their destinations safely and as quickly as possible. Customers with travel plans that include Phoenix are encouraged to visit Southwest.com or the Southwest app to view their flight status," Landson said in the statement.

The overnight storms also left more than 580 customers with power outages in central Arizona.

According to the Arizona Public Service outage map, there were 22 customers affected in Paradise Valley, 83 in Sun City, 173 in El Mirage, 54 in Buckeye, 204 in Tonopah and 29 in Gila bend due to storm-related conditions as of 9 a.m. on Thursday.

In Phoenix there were about 16 customers affected due to the storms and in Glendale about 10 as of 9 a.m. on Thursday, according to the Salt River Project outage map.

Republic reporter Laura Daniella Sepulveda contributed to this article.

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Arizona Game and Fish Department: Dove prospects good

PHOENIX – Arizona’s dove hunters should have no complaints when the 2022 season opens Sept. 1.All signs indicate that there will be birds aplenty, particularly for those hunters who are willing to scout in the mornings and evenings between now and the opener to locate some good hunting spots, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.The greatest number of doves – and dove hunters – will be concentrated in the state’s agricultural areas, particularly those that produce small-grain crops lik...

PHOENIX – Arizona’s dove hunters should have no complaints when the 2022 season opens Sept. 1.

All signs indicate that there will be birds aplenty, particularly for those hunters who are willing to scout in the mornings and evenings between now and the opener to locate some good hunting spots, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The greatest number of doves – and dove hunters – will be concentrated in the state’s agricultural areas, particularly those that produce small-grain crops like wheat, barley, oats and sorghum. That includes locations like Yuma, one of the premier destinations in the U.S., as well as Buckeye, Eloy, Florence, Gila Bend, Toltec and others.

“This has been another great year for dove populations,” said Johnathan O’Dell, small game biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). “The white-winged dove call count index was strong this spring, an indicator of prolific breeding activity.

“Add to that an excellent market for grain crops being grown this year, and it’s no surprise that plenty of white-winged doves are being seen. If monsoon activity continues to be minimal through the rest of the month, there should be plenty of white-winged doves come opening day.

“In addition, hatches of mourning doves began a bit earlier than usual this year – a good sign for bird numbers come Sept. 1.”

The 15-day “early” season gets underway 30 minutes before legal sunrise Sept. 1. The daily bag limit is 15 mourning and white-winged doves, of which no more than 10 may be white-winged. The possession limit is 45 mourning and white-winged in the aggregate after opening day, of which no more than 15 may be taken in any one day. Of the 45-dove possession limit, only 30 may be white-winged, of which no more than 10 may be taken in any one day.

There is no daily bag limit or possession limit on the invasive Eurasian collared-dove, however a fully feathered wing must be left attached to each dove for identification purposes until a hunter reaches his or her permanent residence or where the game meat will be consumed.

All hunters ages 18 and older must possess a valid Arizona hunting license, as well as a migratory bird stamp, both of which can be purchased online at www.azgfd.com/license/. A youth combination hunt/fish license for hunters ages 10 to 17 costs only $5 and includes a migratory bird stamp.

All dove hunters should review the “2022-23 Arizona Dove and Band-tailed Pigeon Regulations,” which are posted at https://www.azgfd.com/Hunting/Regulations/. The regulations have been produced in a format that hunters will find particularly handy in the field. The color brochure is easy to read and features important hunting information, such as season dates, daily bag and possession limits, and legal requirements, at a glance.

Dove hunters play an important role in conservation. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) funds consist of excise taxes collected on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment (including 11 percent on ammunition), the benefit of which comes right back to Arizona for habitat improvements, shooting ranges, boating access and more.

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