Construction begins on new UCHealth ER in Fort Collins

New location to provide emergency care close to home for patients
April 30th, 2015

UCHealth has officially broken ground on a new emergency center in southeast Fort Collins. Several UCHealth officials were on hand at a recent ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the future UCHealth ER: from left, Russ Woolley, vice president of support services; Donna Poduska, Poudre Valley Hospital chief nursing officer; Rodney Good, senior director of pharmacy services; Dr. Jamie Teumer, vice chief of staff at Medical Center of the Rockies; Dr. Scott Johnston, medical director of emergency services; Dr. Jim Campain, medical director at UCHealth ER in Fort Collins; Janice Mierzwa, senior director of emergency services; and Kevin Unger, chief executive officer and president of PVH and MCR.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – UCHealth is breaking ground this week on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency center in southeastern Fort Collins to serve patients in this rapidly growing area.

Kevin Unger, president and CEO of UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, said the $12.3-million center is expected to be completed in late summer.

The 17,400-square-foot emergency center, which will be named UCHealth ER, will offer easy access and comfort with short waiting times, efficiency of service and high quality care.

The emergency center will have 12 private exam rooms and advanced CT imaging, ultrasound and basic X-ray services. The facility also will house an outpatient laboratory and retail pharmacy, both of which will be open 24/7, the first in this area of the city.

Plans include private space and equipment for conducting specialized examinations for victims of sexual assault. This will be the second northern Colorado site for UCHealth’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, which has nurses specially trained to care for rape victims and collect forensic evidence. The other site is at MCR.

The new UCHealth ER in Fort Collins will be staffed by nurses and advanced care practitioners with specialized emergency medicine training; pharmacists; imaging experts; laboratory scientists; and board-certified ER doctors from Emergency Physicians of the Rockies, an independent group that has served northern Colorado for 30 years and provides ER physicians for PVH, MCR and Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center.

The facility will care for walk-in patients and those brought by ambulance. The staff will be able to handle any type of medical emergency. Patients who need highly specialized care, such as major trauma injuries or cardiac or stroke conditions, will have treatment started immediately and be transported directly to the closest appropriate hospital, according to Dr. James Campain, who is medical director of UCHealth’s emergency center in west Greeley and who will also be the medical director of the new UCHealth ER on Harmony Road. Patients with lesser ailments—colds and minor abrasions, for example—will still be able to receive care at UCHealth Urgent Care on the Harmony Campus. The urgent care center, located about two blocks west of the site for the new emergency center, is open seven days a week.

Crews prepare the site of the future UCHealth ER on Wednesday, April 23, 2015, for the upcoming construction project. The project architect is H+L, and the contractor is GE Johnson.

In addition, UCHealth laboratory services now located in the Redstone Building on Harmony Campus will be moved to UCHealth ER, where 24/7 outpatient lab services will be offered to serve patients’ health care needs and accommodate their busy schedules.

A single-story building south of Harmony Road and east of Snow Mesa Drive will house the emergency facility on UCHealth’s 96-acre campus. The project architect is H+L, and the contractor is GE Johnson.

Meanwhile, UCHealth is also preparing for an expansion project on Poudre Valley Hospital’s main campus about five miles northwest of the Harmony Campus.

The hospital has seen a huge increase in the volume of emergency care patients over the years. PVH’s emergency department was enlarged in the early 2000s to meet the growing need for emergency services, but quickly became busier than expected, caring for more than 55,000 patients in fiscal year 2014 alone. The planned project involves the demolition of the hospital’s original section in May, and building of a two-story addition that will feature an expanded emergency services department as well as new space for the orthopedics unit, lab services and other support services.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: New UCHealth ER.

WHERE:
South of Harmony Road and east of Snow Mesa Drive on University of Colorado Health’s Harmony Campus.

BENEFITS:
 Easy access, convenience, short waiting times, high quality care.

COST:
$12.3 million.

SIZE:
Approximately 17,400 square feet.

FEATURES:

  • 12 private exam rooms.
  • Diagnostic imaging.
  • Laboratory, 24/7.
  • Retail pharmacy, 24/7.
  • Space and equipment to conduct Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner exams.
  • Covered ambulance bay.

COMPLETION: Late summer.

 

About the author

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.