Economy & Economic Development  July 28, 2011

PVHS rolls forward with expansion schedule

FORT COLLINS – Poudre Valley Health System may be heading for a joint operating agreement with University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, but PVHS is still aggressively moving forward with its own plans for millions in expansions and new equipment.

The two health-care systems signed a letter of intent in June to explore an agreement in which they would share an overall management structure and pool their revenues and expenses.

But until that document is signed the two systems are free to continue their capital expansion activities, said Grace Taylor, PVHS’ chief strategy officer.

“It’s going to be business as usual until the joint operating agreement is finalized,” she said. “Once the JOA is established, we’ll know more how the new arrangement will function.”

Taylor said one of the biggest expansion projects currently under way is the installation of a second linear accelerator for the radiation oncology department at PVHS’ Harmony Campus in southeast Fort Collins.

Cancer patients have been receiving treatment on the existing accelerator almost around the clock, necessitating the need for a second one, at a cost about $6.4 million. It is expected to be ready to treat patients in late January 2012.

Taylor said PVHS, which formed a partnership with Greeley Medical Clinic last year, is completing a new infusion center adjacent to GMC’s property in Greeley, 1900 16th St.

The $1.6 million, 9,000-square-foot facility – where patients are given drug treatments under medical supervision – is expected to be open in September, Taylor said.

“Our physicians believe it’s needed and we believe it’s a good service to the Greeley community,” she said.

Taylor, 34, was named PVHS’ chief strategy officer in March and has worked for the health-care system for four years.

Two hospitals seeing changes

PVHS owns two hospitals – Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland – and is making improvements to both facilities.

At PVH, an expansion about three years ago included two then-unneeded, shelled operating spaces totaling about 1,800 square-feet. Taylor said those operating rooms are now needed and being outfitted for use.

The project, which began June 13 and includes some improvements to existing operating rooms, is expected to be finished by mid-January and cost about $1.5 million.

PVHS is also moving a department called Life Skills Rehabilitation now housed at PVH to the fifth floor of MCR in east Loveland.

Taylor said the department is in the “very old” A Building at PVH. The Life Skills Rehab department will be relocated to a still-shelled wing of the fifth floor of MCR, which opened in 2007, and the A Building eventually removed.

Taylor said the department will include 18 to 22 beds for patients with traumatic brain injuries or strokes who need speech therapy and one-on-one specialized care.

Taylor said the cost of the relocation, now set for late 2012, has not yet been determined.

Demolition of the former Cloverleaf Dog Kennel dog track just north of MCR was scheduled to begin the week of July 25. PVHS owns the 41-acre property and has contracted – through McWhinney – to have LVI Services in Denver demolish the site for $1.2 million.

The demolition is actually a deconstruction project, according to Jay Hardy, McWhinney spokesman, with most of the facility’s construction materials being recycled.

“One of the things we’re requiring (of LVI) is to maximize recycling and diverting as much as we can from the landfill,” Hardy said.

That project is expected to be complete by mid-November. Taylor said PVHS currently has no specific plans for the site, although future expansion of nearby MCR is a possibility.

Frederick campus still on

Last August, PVHS and Longmont United Hospital announced they would jointly build a medical campus near Frederick to serve the growing southwest Weld County vicinity.

Longmont United paid $7.2 million for the 70-acre property, but the two organizations have agreed to share 50/50 in the costs of building the campus. It will begin with the construction of an urgent care center.

“We’re currently in the planning stage and hoping to start construction in the first half of 2012,” Taylor said, adding that the costs of the facility have still not yet been established.

On July 19, PVHS opened Corbett House, a facility for homeless youth located within Mountain Crest Behavioral Healthcare Center, 4601 Corbett Drive, off East Harmony Road. Taylor said the unit will house up to eight youth for up to six months at a time to help them acquire job skills, go to school and receive counseling.

Construction of the unit was funded primarily by donations, including $33,275 from the Poudre Valley Hospital Volunteer Association.

Taylor said PVHS currently owns about 145 acres of land near MCR, in Windsor and immediately east of its Redstone corporate office on the Harmony Campus that could be developed in the future.

PVHS expects to continue moving forward with its capital expansion plans after a joint operating agreement is signed, although details of how the new health systems will operate day-to-day remain to be determined, according to Taylor.

“We have a lot of things in common and it’s been very easy to work with that group so far,” she said. “We look forward to the new relationship.”

FORT COLLINS – Poudre Valley Health System may be heading for a joint operating agreement with University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, but PVHS is still aggressively moving forward with its own plans for millions in expansions and new equipment.

The two health-care systems signed a letter of intent in June to explore an agreement in which they would share an overall management structure and pool their revenues and expenses.

But until that document is signed the two systems are free to continue their capital expansion activities, said Grace Taylor, PVHS’ chief strategy officer.

“It’s going to be business as…

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