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UCHealth adds to hospital boom with $85 million expansion to Memorial North campus

June 15, 2016 Updated: June 16, 2016 at 5:49 am
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UCHealth Memorial Hospital plans to begin construction this fall of a four-story addition to its north campus that will add 20 inpatient beds, eight exam rooms in the emergency department and two operating rooms in an $85 million project scheduled for completion by mid-2018.

The 130,000-square-foot addition will primarily house women's and oncology services to accommodate a 43 percent increase in inpatient admissions during the past two years and a fourfold jump in the number of outpatient visits, according to a news release from UCHealth Memorial.

"As the population is growing so, too, is the demand for expert care in northern El Paso County and southern Douglas County. We are pleased to be able to offer residents access to advanced care, close to home," Memorial CEO George Hayes said the release. "Memorial Hospital has been a leader in health care in the Pikes Peak region for more than 100 years, and this expansion ensures we will be able to continue to address current and future health of the community."

UCHealth Memorial opened the north campus in 2007 with 88 inpatient rooms on a 100-acre campus northeast of Briargate Parkway and Union Boulevard and spent more than $15 million in the past year building a cancer center, catheterization laboratory and inpatient and outpatient oncology labs. Hayes said the project has been in the planning stages for about 18 months as part of overall facilities master planning process for UCHealth Memorial.

"These new services, treatments and investments at Memorial are exciting, but just as important are the improvements in patient experience, quality and safety," said Dr. Jose Melendez, UCHealth Memorial's chief medical officer.

The addition will be on the same campus as a $100 million full-service pediatric hospital planned by Children's Hospital Colorado that will include up to 100 inpatient beds, an emergency room, operating rooms and neonatal and pediatric intensive care units when it opens, also scheduled for 2018. The UCHealth Memorial North addition and the Children's facility are planned to open at about the same time and will be linked by hallways on at least "two or three floors" to allow doctors, other staff and patients to move between both buildings, he said.

Even with the addition and the new Children's facility, UCHealth Memorial will be using less than half of the land at its north campus, leaving plenty of space for future expansions, Hayes said.

University of Colorado Health has spent more than $130 million in capital improvements, investments and additional services at UCHealth Memorial's two campuses since leasing the Memorial Hospital system from the city of Colorado Springs in 2012. The investments include $40 million spent remodeling 200 patient rooms at UCHealth Memorial's central campus, 1400 E. Boulder St., to convert them from double to single occupancy in a project expected to be complete by fall 2017, six new primary-care locations and installing advanced imaging and other equipment on both campuses. UCHealth Memorial also is planning to spend up to $4 million on a catheterization lab for neurological imaging on its central campus, Hayes said.

A partnership of UCHealth Memorial and Adeptus Health Inc. also plans to open Grandview Hospital, a 22-bed facility at North Nevada Avenue and Interstate 25, in August with three operating rooms, three intensive care units, an emergency department and other services that will be announced closer to the opening. Adeptus will manage the new hospital, Hayes said.

The UCHealth Memorial projects, along with construction of Grandview Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado's facility on Memorial's north campus, an expansion of St. Francis Medical Center and a new 300-bed hospital planned by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in northwest Colorado Springs are part of a more than $1 billion health-care industry building boom in the Colorado Springs area planned during the next few years. The $100 million St. Francis expansion will expand the hospital's emergency room, operating rooms and neonatal intensive care unit and also is scheduled to open in 2018.

The UCHealth Memorial North expansion is the third major hospital project announced by the Aurora-based system since late May, including a 72-bed hospital in Highlands Ranch and a 53-bed hospital in Greeley, both scheduled to open in 2018. UCHealth also operates Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora and Colorado Health Medical Group physician offices along the Front Range.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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