UCHealth announced Memorial Health System’s north campus will undergo an expansion that will add 130,000 square feet and increase services. The project is expected to be finished in 2018.
UCHealth announced Memorial Health System’s north campus will undergo an expansion that will add 130,000 square feet and increase services. The project is expected to be finished in 2018.

Nine years ago, Memorial Hospital North opened as a small community hospital. That’s not the case anymore, as University of Colorado Health confirmed this week.

UCHealth officials announced plans for an $85 million expansion project at Memorial Hospital North, which will offer “new, advanced services for patients” at the full-service hospital, according to a news release from the health system.

The expansion will add about 130,000 square feet to the existing 230,000-square-foot facility at the intersection of Briargate Parkway and North Union Boulevard.

The design of the new inpatient addition will complement plans by Children’s Hospital Colorado to build a full-service pediatric hospital on the Memorial Hospital North campus. Both the Memorial and Children’s projects are expected to be completed in 2018. Memorial Health CEO George Hayes said the two hospitals will be physically connected.

Dr. Jose Melendez, Memorial Hospital’s chief medical officer, said those new services will include a more robust oncology department to support the newly expanded radiation oncology unit, as well as a robotic surgical unit.

Melendez added that the expansion, mostly to the north and east of the existing hospital, will mean increased clinical trials for patients in the region.

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Groundbreaking on the project — which will include a four-story addition primarily meant to house women’s and oncology services — is expected to occur this fall. Plans also call for expanding the emergency department, adding two operating rooms and increasing the number of inpatient beds from 88 to about 108.

There will be additional room to grow on the 100-acre campus, according to Hayes. He added that, due to population growth on the northeast side of the city, additional growth at Memorial North could occur within a decade.

In the past two years, inpatient admissions have increased 43 percent at Memorial Hospital North, and the number of outpatient visits has nearly quadrupled as the hospital has added medical services. The Memorial Health system currently employs just over 3,800, and that number is expected to grow with the expansion, Hayes said, adding the project will mean about 300 temporary construction jobs.

“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 expansion plans come on the heels of other significant improvements within the past year at Memorial Hospital North: Cardiac services were expanded via a new, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab and cardiac clinic, and oncology services grew with the addition of the radiation oncology treatment center and chemotherapy infusion.

The medical center also was recently designated a Level III trauma center.

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

UCHealth, in collaboration with Adeptus Health, also will be opening its Grand View Hospital, a 22-bed project at 5623 Pulpit Peak View, just off Nevada Avenue north of University Village Colorado, sometime in August, Hayes said. That facility will include three intensive care units and three operating rooms, but additional services have yet to be announced.

UCHealth has spent more than $130 million, officials said, in infrastructure and service improvements at Memorial Hospital Central and Memorial Hospital North since October 2012, when the hospitals became part of UCHealth through a long-term lease agreement with the city of Colorado Springs. The investments include remodeled, private patient rooms, six new primary care locations and the addition of advanced imaging equipment.