With more than 600,000 people projected to call Colorado Springs home by 2040, and El Paso County’s population expected to swell to nearly 1 million, 2020 is a pivotal year for the region’s dynamic health care landscape.
“Our city, our region and our state are growing and seeing development and expansion and success like never before,” Centura Health spokesperson Andrea Sinclair said. “It’s not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.”
For Penrose-St. Francis Medical Center especially, “2020 is going to be a really big year,” Sinclair said.
In 2020, the medical center will open four additional full-service state-of-the-art operating rooms, bringing the facility’s total to 16, Sinclair said. The rooms are part of a $102 million expansion project at the medical center that included a new emergency department with 52 beds, more than double the number in the original unit.
“When we started the expansion project, we were sitting at six operating rooms,” Sinclair said. “By the time we’re done, we will have added 10.”
Centura, the parent company of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, announced in February 2019 that it paid $30 million for 57.8 acres off Interquest Parkway and Interstate 25 to construct its new medical campus.
The plan is to build an orthopedic center of excellence at the site and eventually add to it, transforming the facility into a “community hospital” as the population grows and the health care demand increases, Brian Erling, president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, told the Business Journal in February.
“That’s something we’re really looking forward to into 2020,” Sinclair said. “The third medical campus is one of the pillars of our  strategic plan. … Eventually we see our footprint expanding up and down the Front Range and being able to serve Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region as a whole the best we can.”
The medical campus will begin accepting patients in late 2022, Sinclair said.
In continuance of its systemwide 2025 strategic plan, Centura Health also is looking to open an urgent care facility in Fountain by spring 2020.
“[Through] our research and all of the work that we’ve done in terms of listening to our patients and community members, we definitely feel that primary care and urgent care is where we have to focus,” Sinclair said. “That’s absolutely part of our strategic plan.”
Another long-term project will come to fruition in 2020 when the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center opens. The 104,000-square-foot, $61.4 million center — built north of the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences and south of the Ent Center for the Arts, as part of the City for Champions project — is a partnership between UCCS and Penrose-St. Francis Centura Health, which will integrate undergraduate and graduate education with clinical practice and research in a sports medicine and performance environment.
The Hybl Center plans to start taking patients in April, with UCCS students starting class there in the fall, Sinclair said.
“We’re super excited about the Hybl Center,” Sinclair said. “In 2020, we’ll really start melding the clinical and academic sides. It’s such an exciting partnership.”
UCHealth will break ground in spring 2020 on a three-story medical complex designed to meet the health care needs of residents of Colorado Springs’ fast-growing Eastside and eastern El Paso County, spokesperson Cary Vogrin said.
UCHealth Eastview Medical Center will be built near the northwest intersection of Powers Boulevard and North Carefree Circle and house an ambulatory surgery center, outpatient imaging, medical and surgical specialty services, an orthopedic center and outpatient rehabilitation, Vogrin said.
Medical and surgical specialties will include urology, neurology, and ear, nose and throat clinics, along with women’s health services to include mammography, she said.
UCHealth broke ground in August on Grandview Medical Center, a 65,000-square-foot expansion of the Grandview Campus (North Nevada Avenue) focused on sports medicine, a range of orthopedic sub-specialties, a primary care practice with a focus on sports medicine, advanced orthopedic imaging services, and an expansive physical therapy clinic and gym, Vogrin said. The three-story building, scheduled to open in late 2020, is located adjacent to Grandview Hospital in north-central Colorado Springs.
In 2020, the area’s first pediatric hospital will launch a program to help children tackle mental health issues, said Margaret Sabin, president of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs.
“A year ago, I sat with researchers, mental health professionals and key community stakeholders,” Sabin said. “Our goal was to construct a program that might help young people build resiliency — the ability to recover from disappointments, embarrassment, hard luck, put-downs and the myriad other challenges young people contend with.”
The program evolved into “Building Resilience for Healthy Kids,” which will launch next month in two Colorado Springs schools, Sabin said.
“We are hopeful this program will provide real-life solutions for kids in an increasingly complex world,” she said. “If our research shows promise, we are hopeful that it will expand to many other settings so our entire community of young people can move through the difficult years with greater confidence and coping skills.”