Groundbreaking celebrates MHN expansion

UCHealth to add four-story addition to northern Colorado Springs campus
Sept. 13, 2016
A groundbreaking ceremony to expand Memorial Hospital North, which opened in 2007, is set for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 16.
A groundbreaking ceremony to expand Memorial Hospital North, which opened in 2007, is set for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 16.

After months of planning, UCHealth will break ground Sept. 16 at Memorial Hospital North to celebrate a major expansion and advancement of care for patients in northern Colorado Springs.

In the coming weeks, contractors will begin construction on a four-story building that will add 130,000 square feet of space to the north campus, enhancing care for new mothers and babies and patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. The $85 million project is one of two construction projects underway on the campus – Children’s Hospital Colorado is building a hospital on the campus. Both projects are scheduled to open in 2018 and the facilities will be linked by a three-level hallway.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers; Memorial CEO George Hayes; Ret. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, Jr., chair of the Memorial Hospital Board of Directors; and Colorado Springs City Council President Merv Bennett will speak during the celebration at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“Memorial Hospital has been a leader in health care in the Pikes Peak region for more than 100 years, and this expansion ensures we will be able to continue to address current and future health needs of the community,” Hayes said.  “As the population is growing, so too is the demand for expert care in northern El Paso County and southern Douglas County. We are pleased to be able to offer residents access to advanced care, close to home.”

The construction helps Memorial Hospital North, which opened as a small community hospital in 2007, to continue growing into a full-service medical campus, offering acute care and clinical trials to patients in northern El Paso County.

In recent months, the campus has opened a new heart catheterization lab, a new Radiation Oncology Building and a chemotherapy infusion center. The hospital also was designated as a Level III trauma center. In the past two years, inpatient admissions have increased 43 percent at MHN and the number of outpatient visits has nearly quadrupled as the hospital added medical services on the campus.

“The new services, treatments and investments at Memorial are exciting, but just as important are the improvements in patient experience, quality and safety,” said Dr. Jose Melendez, Memorial Hospital’s chief medical officer. “It’s obvious the community recognizes these improvements because record numbers of patients are now choosing Memorial Hospital for their care.’’

Melendez said the expansion allows Memorial to begin to offer some of the new protocols already available to cancer patients at University of Colorado Hospital to patients in Colorado Springs.

“People in Colorado Springs will now have access to the protocols that are offered at University, and they won’t have to travel to Denver to receive that level of care,’’ Melendez said.

The new space will be especially pleasing for new mothers, Melendez said.

An architect’s rendering shows the new, four-story expansion at Memorial Hospital North.

UCHealth will add 130,000 square feet to enhance care for moms and babies and patients who have cancer.

“This will give us brand-new, private rooms with great views of the Front Range. We’ll offer antepartum care for mothers and have maternal-fetal medicine specialists practicing on that campus. We’ll partner with Children’s and have a new neonatal intensive care unit to take care of babies if they need that level of care,’’ Melendez said.

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.