Children's Hospital Colorado, which has a main hospital in Aurora, announced plans last week to open a pediatric hospital in north Colorado Springs.
The facility will fill a gap in comprehensive pediatric care services for residents of northern New Mexico, western Texas and western Wyoming.
The $110 million hospital will break ground this winter and is expected to open in 2018. The hospital will have approximately 100 pediatric beds, an emergency department, neonatal and pediatric intensive-care units and operating rooms.
“There really is a lot of geographic vastness of land and space between cities (in the Southwest) where you might find hospitals or even physicians,” said Jena Hausmann, CEO of Children's Hospital Colorado. “If families need an acute level of care they have this as an access point, which might be the closest children's hospital.”
Earlier this year, Children's Hospital relinquished its license to operate within Memorial Hospital after a federal and state investigation found a delayed transfer to a nearby hospital factored into the death of a child needing neurosurgery.
Hausmann said the decision to open the hospital was not related to the investigation and the plans to open the facility have been in the works for years.
“The decision to build the Children's Hospital started in our strategic thinking three years ago,” Hausmann said. “What has taken us the three years is the time it took to really understand that market.”
The hospital will be adjacent to Children's Hospital's partner, UCHealth's Memorial Hospital North, with the facilities sharing mechanical operations like electric and mechanical systems. But the new hospital will be independent and have its own entrance and physicians.
Children's Hospital currently operates 113 pediatric beds at Memorial Hospital and Hausmann said she predicts most of those beds will be transferred to the new facility when its complete. Memorial Hospital's remaining pediatric beds will likely be neonatal ICU beds, Hausmann said.
In an e-mailed statement to Modern Healthcare, Memorial Hospital CEO George Hayes said it “will work closely with Children's Colorado to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.”
The new hospital is expected to staff 500 caregivers, approximately 350 from Memorial Hospital, including 36 physicians.
“We've been recruiting a number of pediatric subspecialists to live in that community,” Hausmann said. “They continue to develop a really comprehensive medical staff to support this new hospital.”