UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital to build additional tower

Uniquely equipped to care for patients with the most complex of cases, UCH is building new tower to meet patient demand, expand advanced medical services
February 7th, 2019

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) on the Anschutz Medical Campus will build a new tower to meet growing demand for complex medical care. Once built on the west side of the hospital campus, the 11-story tower will initially provide 103 additional inpatient beds and nine operating rooms with space for future growth.

An artist's rendition of a new tower to be built by UCHealth on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
An artist’s rendition of a new tower to be built by UCHealth on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“University of Colorado Hospital cares for patients experiencing the most acute health care needs,” said UCHealth President and CEO Elizabeth Concordia. “UCHealth provides patients access to innovative clinical trials and advanced treatments often unavailable anywhere else, with some of the nation’s best outcomes and patient experience. We are uniquely able to treat even the most complex cases – because of this, we accept over 4,000 transfers from other facilities every year.”

Capacity challenges necessitate the expansion of University of Colorado Hospital. Over the past year, UCH experienced an average occupancy rate of 93 percent.

In growing numbers, patients are seeking advanced care at UCH for services such as its transplant program, which saw a record 443 organ transplants in 2018. The significant growth in these services as well as oncology, bone marrow transplant, neurology and neurosurgery are driving UCH’s capacity challenges, and the expansion project will provide specialized operating rooms for these and other nationally recognized specialties.

“With the hospital frequently at capacity with every medical/surgical patient bed occupied, the expansion will allow UCH to meet the needs of patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region,” said Dr. Jean Kutner, University of Colorado Hospital chief medical officer. “Patients throughout our multi-state region have been requesting our care in record numbers while our state’s population continues to grow at one of the nation’s fastest rates. This new tower will ensure we are able to care for our patients today along with those who will need our services in the future.”

An artist's rendition of a new tower to be build on the campus of UCHealth at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
A new tower for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus will help meet growing demand for complex medical care.

Aurora and its surrounding communities are expected to grow at nearly 2 percent per year – amounting to another 100,000 people over the next 10 years. Over 7,000 people are moving into the state of Colorado every month, with 4,000 people becoming residents in the metro Denver area alone.

“As the Rocky Mountain region’s only academic hospital, University of Colorado Hospital is usually the first in the state – and often the country – to bring new treatments to patients, and the need for this new tower is a direct result of patients coming to the Anschutz Medical Campus for high quality care and superior outcomes,” said Don Elliman, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus chancellor. “CU School of Medicine physicians are experts in their fields, and our commitment to education, training, research and discovery at CU Anschutz Medical Campus will continue for years to come.”

UCH is now both a Level I Trauma Center and a Comprehensive Stroke Center. And, as the region’s only adult Burn and Frostbite Center verified by the American Burn Association, UCH is able to care for the region’s most severe burn injuries.

Construction of the new tower will start in 2019, and it is expected to open in 2022.

About the author

Jessica Berry is a spokesperson for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. She brings a rich mixture of military, political and journalistic experience to the position.

After graduating from the University of Colorado in 2000 with a degree in Communications, she traveled the country working in television news for stations in Texas, Montana, Alabama and Georgia.

Her travels brought her up close and personal with military issues post 9-11, and she found herself inspired to leave the world of television behind to enlist in the Air Force Reserve. She also worked for a state senator in Denver, a retired Air Force Colonel whose district covered a large portion of Colorado Springs, home to a sizeable military community. 

On July 2, 2008, Berry left the Air Force and was sworn-in as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy Reserve. Ms. Berry has been a spokesperson for Nashville Navy Week, Denver Navy Week, L.A. Navy Week, Cincinnati Navy Week, Fargo Navy Week, Albuquerque Navy Week, Fleet Week New York, the USS New Mexico commissioning, and the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. In addition, she provided media training for more than 300 foreign and U.S. senior officers for the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.