After 15 years of serving Colorado Springs-area patients through outpatient clinics and a series of partnerships with the UCHealth Memorial Hospital System, Children's Hospital Colorado began construction Wednesday on the first hospital in the Springs area specializing in pediatric care.
The 294,000-square-foot complex will open on the UCHealth Memorial Hospital North campus in late 2018 and will include 40 medical surgery and pediatric intensive care beds with eight more unfinished (to be finished if the need arises), 36 neonatal intensive care beds with 12 more unfinished, 22 exam rooms in the emergency department with nine unfinished, five operating rooms with three more unfinished, 22 recovery rooms with 12 more unfinished, 18 infusion rooms, bays or exam rooms for cancer and blood disorder patients, six behavioral health rooms, six extended stay rooms and three sleep study rooms.
"We are celebrating what this means for the children of southern Colorado, who will find a place of healing and find a place of hope with the finest pediatric care," said Jena Hausmann, CEO of the Aurora-based provider of pediatric health care. "It will be a glorious day when we open this facility in 2018 for patient care."
Children's will continue to operate therapy clinics at a nearby complex, 4125 Briargate Parkway, that opened in 2012 but will move outpatient cancer treatment to the new hospital when it opens, said Greg Raymond, regional vice president of Children's for southern Colorado.
The new hospital will be staffed by some of the 550 Children's employees that now work at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, staffing its neonatal intensive care and medical surgical units that will move to the new hospital and pediatric intensive care unit that will remain at the central campus, he said.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers praised Children's for building the new hospital, which will end the area's status as one of just three metropolitan areas - Greensboro, N.C., and Sarasota, Fla, are the others - among the nation's 80 largest metro areas without a pediatric hospital and health care system. He said the $154 million project also would create jobs and economic development benefits in the construction, health care, information technology and hospitality industries and also would help the Springs area attract additional new and expanding businesses.
The groundbreaking ceremony was led by Noah Devolve, a Classical Academy student who had open-heart surgery at Children's in the Denver area when he was 18 days old, surgery at 14 years old to realign his knee and ankle and treatment at 15 years old for a concussion.
Another Children's patient, Jordan Peak, described how doctors at the hospital system saved her life after she suffered a pulmonary embolism that triggered heart failure during a basketball practice three years ago. She has returned to playing basketball and runs cross country and track.
Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234