Community events to showcase PVH expansion

Public invited to Teddy Bear Hospital, Community Open House on Feb. 11
Feb. 8, 2017
kids watches an ER doctor exam his bear's arm.
Ryder Sloan, 3, watches as his teddy bear is examined by a UCHealth Emergency Department physician during a 2015 UCHealth Teddy Bear Hospital event. Photo by Blocker Photography, for UCHealth.

A new emergency department, state-of-the-art laboratory and orthopedics unit are part of a new addition at Poudre Valley Hospital and UCHealth is inviting the community in for a peek at the progress.

On Feb. 11, PVH will host two community events: a Teddy Bear Hospital for younger visitors and their families, and a community open house for those seeking an expanded tour.

“I encourage the community to come see how we have improved our space and services to meet their needs,” said PVH Chief Nursing Officer Donna Poduska. “It was designed with the patient and family in mind.”

two elephant stuffed animals go through an x-ray machine while kids and parents watch
Owen Carr, 5, and his sister, Evelyn, 3, watch as their teddy bears receive care at UCHealth Emergency Room – Harmony, in Fort Collins, during a 2015 UCHealth Teddy Bear Hospital event. Photo by Blocker Photography, for UCHealth.

One of Poduska’s favorite aspects of the new emergency department is its private rooms. The new emergency department is significantly larger: 55,543 square feet compared to the current 16,820 square feet. And the new space can accommodate up to 64 beds compared to 28 in the current ER.

UCHealth cared for more than 53,000 people annually in the PVH Emergency Department in 2016, and the new, larger space will allow UCHealth to accommodate future growth of the northern Colorado community by caring for as many as 100,000 patients annually.

Kevin Unger, CEO and President of PVH and Medical Center of the Rockies, said he is delighted by the design of the new addition.

“The all-private, state-of-the-art rooms designed around pods can be opened and closed depending on patient volume,” he said. “The waiting room is very small because we want all patients to see a provider immediately after entering the facility, and I also love that the helicopter pad is on the roof above the new emergency department.”

Currently, medical helicopters have to land in the southeast corner of the hospital’s property and patients are transported to the ER via an ambulance. With roof access, patients can arrive by way of an elevator.

The new addition – including a new ambulance bay — will be showcased during the Teddy Bear Hospital, from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 11.

During that time, children and their families will be allowed to take their teddy bear (or any other “friend” who needs medical care) into the new ER to be seen by a UCHealth health care provider.

“Emergency Room visits can be very scary for children and their families since many don’t know what to expect,” said Kerry Borrego, UCHealth’s trauma program outreach coordinator. “This is a great opportunity to bring children through the ER and simulate what a visit might be like for the child – but their stuffed animal is the patient instead.”

ER staff talk with a girl holding a cheta stuffed animal
Paige Cloudman talks with UCHealth Emergency Department staff during a 2015 UCHealth Teddy Bear Hospital event. Photo by Blocker Photography, for UCHealth.

At the Teddy Bear Hospital event, UCHealth ER staff will bandage, suture and X-ray the “patient” in accordance with the injuries or illnesses reported to them by the child.

“Participating in this fun event can help decrease the anxiety and fear a child might have should they need to come to the ER as a patient themselves,” Borrego said.

Emergency Physicians of the Rockies is giving mini teddy bears away to the first 250 young guests. There also will be community programs providing information and hosting fun events, including a tour of an ambulance for children.

For the community open house, from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 11, the public gets a chance to see the ER and ambulance bay as well as the new orthopedic unit and retail pharmacy.

The orthopedic unit has large rooms with natural light and a rehabilitation gym that gives patients an area to improve their mobility and health without the feel of being in a hospital.

UCHealth’s Clinical Education and Innovation Center staff will be on hand with training mannequins mocked up as patients so visitors can see how the mannequins help prepare staff for real-life situations.

“We’ll be using high-fidelity simulators (mannequins) as well as CPR feedback devices during the open house to allow the community to get up close and personal to see the benefits and the realism of our simulation education,” said Laura Wining, UCHealth’s coordinator of education programs.

Health care experts also will be available to answer questions about the laboratory and new retail pharmacy, mental health and sexual assault nurse examiner rooms in the ER, the helipad, MRI and other aspects of the new space.

For more information visit

ER doctor puts a cast on a stuffed animal while boy in a fire costume watches.
Noah Benson, 4, gets his teddy bear checked out by a UCHealth Emergency Room physician during a 2015 UCHealth Teddy Bear Hospital event. Photo by Blocker Photography, for UCHealth.

Where to go

WHAT: The community is invited to two upcoming events to get a sneak peek of Poudre Valley Hospital’s new wing, which includes a new emergency department.

  • Teddy Bear Hospital, 9-noon Feb. 11.
  • Community Open House, 1-3 p.m. Feb. 11.

WHERE: Poudre Valley Hospital, 1024 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins.

DETAILS: Both events are free. Signs will be posted to direct attendees to event parking.

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.