Not long ago, Jennifer George was driving down Interstate 25 with her youngest son, Rohen, when she pointed toward UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies.
Jennifer then told her son, now 10, that he was the first baby born at the gleaming new hospital on Feb. 14, 2007 in Loveland.
“He thought that was pretty cool, and now he thinks he’s famous,” Jennifer said. “When we go down I-25, he likes to tell his friends that that’s HIS hospital.”
Just as Rohen has grown from his birthweight of 6 pounds, 9 ounces into a sweet boy who likes basketball and video games, so has Medical Center of the Rockies. On Valentine’s Day, Rohen celebrates his 10th birthday, and MCR celebrates a decade of caring in northern Colorado.
Rohen, the fourth child to Jennifer and Jason George, will celebrate with MCR employees on Feb. 14.
Rohen’s mom remembers the day as if it was yesterday.
Having delivered the first child at the new hospital, the George family received baskets full of gift certificates, toys and clothes, as well a college savings account with $10,000 for Rohen’s education. The check was presented by The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado.
“Everyone was awesome,” Jennifer said. “And that college scholarship continues to appreciate and grow.”
And, she’ll never forget the chocolate cake with a cookie crumble topping that the staff at the birthing center gave her after the birth, she said.
“It was super weird – like I was the only one in the hospital,” Jennifer said. “I remember that I really liked the chocolate cake they served, and I wanted it with everything. They basically told me I could have the whole thing because I was the only person there.”
Jason remembers being a proud father, and the special treatment that his family received.
“It’s crazy to think that 10 years has gone by,” Jason said. “But I still remember the care we got … and their swanky room and that great view of the mountains.”
That day, according to a Loveland Reporter-Herald newspaper article, MCR conducted 30 cardiac procedures that day, treated 12 patients in the emergency room and performed four X-rays and three surgeries.
From that first day, MCR has grown into its own over the past decade.
In 2016, MCR was again ranked a Best Hospital in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report. The hospital has achieved Baby-Friendly and Verified Trauma Center certifications, Magnet recognition and status as a world-class heart program.
Since Rohen, MCR has helped bring 7,400 more babies into the world. In January 2017, it received its five-year redesignation as a Baby-Friendly birth facility, which along with UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital make it one of only about 400 hospitals and birthing centers in the United States to hold such designation.
“The designation shows moms where we stand — that we provide family-centered care,” said registered nurse Carrie Guffey, who cared for Rohen in the nursery his first night at MCR.
“A lot has changed in our unit since we opened,” she said. “Most babies now never leave their parents’ side unless absolutely necessary, and we promote skin-to-skin time — not taking the baby away from the mother until they’ve had that first breast-feeding experience. And our lactation department has grown a ton. It’s great to see how participation in our Wee Steps and breast-feeding support groups have grown.”
MCR also has the UCHealth Heart Center, and in 2015, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology honored MCR with two of their highest awards for providing exceptional systems of care — from the 911 response to follow-up care — for heart attack patients.
The center has made headlines for its multispecialty and multidisciplinary approach to complex valve disease. Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work side-by-side providing catheter- and surgical-based valve interventions, and they were the first in northern Colorado to perform a transcatheter aortic valve replacement. They also were the first in the state to implant the Watchman device to address nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and implant a dissolvable stent after its approval by the Federal Drug Administration.
During the 10-year celebration on Valentine’s Day, Rohen will be back at HIS hospital, celebrating 10 years of life in the place of his birth.