AURORA, Colo. - Members of the Memorial Health System task force charged with recommending new operators for Memorial Hospital have forwarded to the Colorado Springs City Council a collaborative proposal led by the University of Colorado Hospital.
The proposal to lease and operate Memorial was made by University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and Poudre Valley Health System, which are nearing the formation of a new hospital system. They were joined by Children’s Hospital Colorado, which would operate a specialty “hospital within a hospital” at Memorial, and the University of Colorado. The proposal would also fund a branch of the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Memorial would become the southern hub of the new system, called University of Colorado Health. Poudre Valley would be its northern hub, with UCH, headquartered at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, serving as both its literal and geographic academic medical core.
“Our whole team is honored to continue the conversation with Colorado Springs regarding Memorial’s bright future as part of our University of Colorado Health System,” said Bruce Schroffel, president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital. “We look forward to the opportunity to expand our longstanding relationship with the Pikes Peak region through support for Memorial’s already excellent medical staff, expanded educational opportunities and greater economic development.”
The city council will consider the task force’s recommendation in the coming weeks. During the vetting process, task force members singled out the Colorado-based non-profit system for the mission and values it shares with Memorial. Additionally, task force members said they were impressed by the quality of care and educational excellence represented in the partnership, as well as by the branch medical campus that the partnership would establish.
“UCCS has always stood for expanding educational opportunity in our community and the entire Pikes Peak region,” said UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak. “This partnership will allow us to help create the next generation of doctors right here in Colorado Springs. Additionally, it will enhance our already strong nursing programs and might ultimately lead to a fully-realized healthcare campus.”
In addition to the financial terms of the package, the UCH proposal also anticipates the new system would bring economic development benefits for the region of between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion annually.
“I believe the University of Colorado has a proven track record that will make these projected economic benefits a reality,” said Kyle Hybl, chairman of the University of Colorado Board of Regents. “These aren’t just numbers. We’ve already created a winning economic model on the Anschutz Medical Campus.”
Task force members focused attention on care for members of the military and their families, the alignment of mission and values among the partners in the new University of Colorado Health System and ensuring charity care.
“One of the cornerstones of our proposal is a clear and unequivocal commitment to care for our military service members and their families through TriCare. As the second-largest TriCare provider in the state, we know the economics and we fully understand the commitment we’re making,” said Lilly Marks, chair of the University of Colorado Hospital Board of Directors and Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Our committment to providing charity care to our communities is also unwavering.”
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