Celebrating advancements and achievements in medicine, Memorial Hospital marks 10 years with UCHealth

Oct. 1 anniversary celebrates advancements in patient care, expanded services, investments in health care technologies in Pikes Peak region
September 29, 2022
Memorial Hospital celebrates 10 years with UCHealth. Photo: Sonya Doctorian, UCHealth.

UCHealth will celebrate 10 years of caring for patients in the Pikes Peak region on Oct. 1 – an anniversary marked by numerous advancements and achievements in health care, a vast expansion of services and a continued commitment to serve the community and all of southern Colorado.

Memorial Central and Memorial North, both formerly city-operated, joined UCHealth after Colorado Springs voters overwhelmingly approved a long-term lease agreement that took effect Oct. 1, 2012. Since then, Grandview Hospital, which opened in 2017, joined UCHealth; Pikes Peak Regional Hospital in Woodland Park also became part of the UCHealth family in 2018.

“A decade ago, the community entrusted UCHealth to provide world-class care close to home, and we are proud of our many accomplishments – from attracting top physicians to offering the latest medical technology,” said Joel Yuhas, president and CEO of UCHealth’s Southern Colorado Region. “That historic vote truly changed the face of health care in the region. Memorial Central is now home to the only Level I Trauma Center in southern Colorado and is the region’s sole Comprehensive Stroke Center. It also operates one of the busiest emergency departments in the nation.

“Patients throughout southern Colorado choose UCHealth because they recognize the advanced care and expertise we provide. Over the past 10 years, we have grown responsibly to meet patient demands and improve access,” Yuhas said. “Our mission, which is to improve lives, has guided our growth, and today we have the largest primary care and specialty network in southern Colorado.”

Joel Yuhas, president and CEO of UCHealth's Southern Colorado region; Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, and Dr. David Steinbruner, chief medical officer for UCHealth Memorial Hospital, answer reporters questions during a press conference announcing Colorado Springs' only Level I Trauma Center. Photo: Cary Vogrin, UCHealth.
Joel Yuhas, president and CEO of UCHealth’s southern Colorado region; Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, trauma medical director for UCHealth Memorial; and Dr. David Steinbruner, chief medical officer for UCHealth Memorial Hospital, answer reporters questions during a press conference announcing Colorado Springs’ only Level I Trauma Center. Photo: Cary Vogrin, UCHealth.

In late 2012, UCHealth employed just under 3,500 people locally; today, about 6,600 are employed in the Pikes Peak region, making it the largest non-military employer in the community. UCHealth’s health care locations in the region have grown from eight in 2012 to more than 65 today. Memorial Central expanded with new sub-specialized ICUs in trauma, cardiac surgery and neuro-critical care to address the evolving specialty needs of the Colorado Springs community. At Memorial North, a tower dedicated to women’s and oncology services opened in 2019. Children’s Hospital Colorado also opened a hospital on the Memorial North campus in 2019.

Growth will continue in the region to include:

  • Memorial Hospital Central will add two new patient units with an additional 40 beds to ensure the campus continues to meet demand for highly-specialized treatments and procedures. The expansion is expected to be complete in winter 2023.
  • Memorial Hospital North will add 16 additional labor and delivery and post-partum beds to support Colorado’s largest maternity program, with more than 4,800 deliveries annually.
  • UCHealth Eastview Medical Center at Powers Boulevard and North Carefree will open in the fall of 2023. Among the services that will be offered: outpatient imaging; outpatient rehab; breast imaging; an ambulatory surgery center; and multi-specialty, orthopedics, urology, women’s care, breast surgery, neurology and ENT clinics.
  • Interquest Medical Center at Interquest and Voyager parkways is expected to open in March 2023. The center will have orthopedic and primary care clinics, along with lab, rehab and imaging services.
  • Three new primary care locations are planned to expand access for patients in northern Colorado Springs, Black Forest and Fountain.

“While we’re investing heavily in our hospital campuses, in outpatient services and in technology to advance our medical services, we’ve also invested in people – our providers and employees critical to our success – who are among the very best in their field and passionate about helping others,” Yuhas added. “I am proud that UCHealth has launched a career education program that offers full tuition for many programs so we can help people further their careers in the medical field. I’m also proud of our investments in local colleges and universities to expand nursing and radiology technician programs including degree programs at both Pikes Peak State College and UCCS.  Overcoming the workforce challenges in a community growing as rapidly as ours requires bold and deliberate steps in building strong community partnerships.”

Chris Martin, director of pharmacy at UCHealth Memorial Hospital, displays vaccine to help prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Photo: UCHealth.

Among the many notable advancements and achievements over the past decade:

  • UCHealth Memorial Hospital ranks as the 1 hospital in Colorado Springs this year by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Behavioral health specialists have been integrated in multiple primary care clinics, underscoring UCHealth’s commitment to improving access to behavioral health services. UCHealth also launched a suicide-prevention program for veterans in El Paso County.
  • UCHealth Memorial serves as the referral hospital of choice for the majority of southern Colorado rural hospitals seeking transfers and advanced care for patients with COVID-19 and other specialized care.
  • UCHealth offered the first COVID-19 vaccines in southern Colorado and provided nearly 175,000 doses locally.
  • The nation’s third Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, which is able to provide immediate, onsite emergency stroke care, went into service at UCHealth in 2016. The unit is equipped with a CT scanner and clinicians who are specially trained in stroke treatment.
  • Memorial Hospital received – for the fourth straight year – the HeartCARE Center: National Distinction of Excellence designation from the American College of Cardiology; it is the only hospital in southern Colorado with this nationally recognized heart program accreditation.
  • New specialty services include a gynecology/oncology program, head/neck surgical oncology, hepatobiliary and cutaneous surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, urology specialists, and orthopedic and neurosurgery for complex spine cases.
  • A Mako robotics program for precision-guided, joint replacement surgeries also was launched at Grandview Hospital.
  • In 2018, UCHealth Memorial Central was designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and received a Level I Trauma Center designation a few months later. The hospital is the only one in southern Colorado to hold the top designations for stroke and trauma care.
  • In March 2022, Becker’s Hospital Review listed Grandview Hospital as a top hospital in the Western U.S. for patient experience.
  • Grandview Medical Center, a 65,000-square-foot expansion of the Grandview Campus, opened in 2021 with a focus on sports medicine and a range of orthopedic sub-specialties. It also houses a primary care practice and an expansive physical therapy clinic and gym.
  • UCHealth, including its southern Colorado locations, has been designated a Military Friendly employer, a Denver Post Top Workplace and one of the Best and Brightest Companies to work for.

“I’ve had the privilege of practicing at Memorial since 2008 and truly enjoy serving this community,” said Dr. David Steinbruner, an emergency medicine physician and UCHealth Memorial’s chief medical officer. “I am extremely proud to work side-by-side with the excellent providers, nurses and the many others who come to work each day to care for our friends and neighbors. As I reflect on a decade of growth, I am both humbled by the work that has been done inside our hospitals and excited to celebrate the impact UCHealth has had on its patients, the community and those who work here.”

 

About the author

Cary Vogrin is a media relations specialist for UCHealth. She joined UCHealth in 2015, coordinating media stories and responding to media requests for UCHealth hospitals and clinics in southern Colorado.

Prior to joining UCHealth, Vogrin was a newspaper reporter and editor, having worked at The Fort Dodge Messenger in Fort Dodge, Iowa; The Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California; The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado; and The Gazette in Colorado Springs, where she covered health care.

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