New clinic space offers improved patient comfort

Jan. 13, 2020

UCHealth Memorial Central’s remodeled fifth floor of the East Tower opens Jan. 13 with 16 specially designed exam rooms, two procedure rooms and offices for 20 surgeons.

The opening crowns more than six months of construction and years of planning to improve the patient experience at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central. Because of growth since becoming a Level 1 Trauma Center, the general and trauma surgeons who historically had offices on the sixth floor have now moved into spacious, new accommodations.

sterile refresher training with a nurse putting on gloves
Physician Assistant Amanda Waugh,left, instructs Medical Assistant Cassandra Demery on sterile procedures as part of a new clinic opening at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central. Photo by UCHealth.

This week, finishing touches were underway for the General, Acute Care and Trauma Surgery Clinic. Staff received refresher training on sterile procedures as they participated in mock patient visits while others unpacked boxes and contractors installed data lines. The 14,000-foot clinic will officially open Jan. 13, according to Carolyn Carroll Flynn, clinic manager.

“We’ve been planning for this for three years and building since July,” Carroll Flynn said. “We will have a wonderful space to see patients as well as for our surgeons to collaborate.”

In addition to panoramic views, the clinic features exam rooms with four-foot-wide doorways, six inches wider than found in exam rooms in other parts of the hospital. The doorways accommodate wheelchairs often used by bariatric patients and lead to exam rooms that are also larger.

The goal, according to Jennifer Toll of Design and Construction, was to build a clinic as comfortable as possible for patients. The space was designed by Environments for Health Architecture with Hensel Phelps serving as the general contractor.

The General, Acute Care and Trauma Surgery Clinic occupies space previously allotted to EPIC training, Information Technology support, communications and other general offices. Many of those offices moved to the Memorial Administrative Center or offsite.

Other recent changes in the East Tower include the remodeling of former pediatric space on the fourth floor into a 28-bed med/surg unit. Additionally, a former pediatric intensive care unit was transformed into a 14-bed adult ICU to help meet community need for critical care beds. Those spaces, made possible by the move of Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs to the Memorial North Campus, were completed in late November.

About the author

Tom Hutton is a veteran communications professional who enjoys making complex subjects relatable to people from all walks of life. Prior to joining UCHealth in 2019, he taught and led public communications at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Previously, he led communications at the University of Kansas and was a reporter and manager for newspapers in Kansas, Iowa and California. In these roles, he earned recognition from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the University of Colorado and various press associations.

Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from KU and a master’s degree in public administration from CU. He enjoys college sports, vintage cars, cooking Kansas City-style barbeques, skiing and hiking.

He and his wife Julie have two daughters and a son.