The rendering shows UCHealth’s proposed Greeley Medical Center. A 53-bed hospital is on the left and a health center is on the right. Courtesy UCHealth.

UCHealth aims for 2018 opening of 53-bed Greeley hospital

GREELEY — Aurora-based health system UCHealth said Friday that the full-service hospital it plans to build in Greeley will have 53 beds.

The four-story, 153,000-square-foot UCHealth Greeley Hospital will be the anchor of the proposed medical campus that will include a three-story, 112,000-square-foot UCHealth Greeley Health Center. Construction on the health center is expected to begin this fall with an anticipated opening in late 2017. Construction on the hospital is expected to begin in early 2017 with an anticipated opening in late 2018.

The two structures will be constructed on the west half of 21.5 acres southeast of U.S. Highway 34 and 71st Avenue. UCHealth acquired the vacant land from St. Michaels Commercial Enterprises LLC in February for $2.8 million, according to public records.

BizWest reported Wednesday that UCHealth had submitted preliminary designs for the project to Greeley’s planning department.

Friday, UCHealth said the project will cost $185 million — $135 million for the hospital and $50 million for the health center.

The project is expected to generate approximately 500 construction jobs. Once completed, the hospital alone will provide more than 300 new health-care positions, according to a statement issued by UCHealth.

UCHealth has hospitals in Fort Collins and Loveland, and is building hospitals in Broomfield, Longmont and Highlands Ranch.

“UCHealth already serves tens of thousands of patients in the greater Greeley area including thousands who travel to our other hospitals for care,” UCHealth’s president and chief executive Elizabeth Concordia, said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to provide the very best, advanced care, close to home, and we’re proud to bring a new hospital and health center to Greeley to better serve our patients and the community.”

Last year, UCHealth provided care for more than 65,000 patients who live in the greater Greeley area, and more throughout Weld County. Over the past two years, more than 6,000 patients from the Greeley area left the city and were admitted at a UCHealth hospital, according to Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

The outpatient health center will be used to consolidate many of the services UCHealth provides in the community. The services offered at the new health center will include primary care, oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatric care and other specialties in addition to offering the lab, imaging and pharmacy services.

“As a primary-care physician, I refer my patients to specialists when they need an extra level of care,” Dr. Daniel Zenk, a UCHealth internal medicine physician who has been caring for patients in Greeley for more than 21 years, said in a prepared statement. “But right now, that means I often have to send a patient across town to be cared for by a specialist, and sometimes to another location for additional services, like physical therapy. This new, advanced facility will offer all these services under one roof for UCHealth patients.”

UCHealth will continue to provide a walk-in clinic, primary-care services and occupational-health services at the Greeley Medical Clinic, 1900 16th St. A separate $1 million renovation project in this facility will include approximately 15 exam rooms, improved imaging and lab capabilities by the end of 2017.

The hospital and health center will be staffed by UCHealth’s physician group, Colorado Health Medical Group, and through partnerships with community physicians.