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Price for Colorado's UCHealth North expansion jumps to $110 million on high demand

Expansion design complements plans by Children's Hospital Colorado to build full-service pediatric hospital on UCHealth Memorial North campus.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

UCHealth Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs has broken ground on a major expansion that will add a new patient tower and increase the number of beds to more than 110. Due in part to increased demand for services at the campus, the project has grown from $85 million to more than $110 million.

The new tower at the hospital will house additional women's care and birth center services including two C-section operating rooms; nine additional emergency department rooms including two more trauma suites; two additional general surgery operating rooms; and more acute-care and intensive care inpatient beds.

These services, some of which have expanded beyond the original scope of the project, will allow Memorial Hospital North to significantly expand their birth center, Level 3 trauma center and surgical specialties including an orthopedic and spine surgery program, according to officials.

[Also: Kaiser Permanente investing $1 billion, expanding West Coast presence with move into Washington]

UCHealth Memorial President and CEO Joel Yuhas said in a statement that the expansion follows more than $130 million spent since 2012 in new technology, expanded facilities and additional services.

From fiscal year 2014-2016, inpatient admissions grew more than 60 percent at the hospital, and births increased more than 20 percent. Outpatient visits tripled during this time.

[Also: Updated list of hospital contruction and expansion projects in 2016]

The hospital's other recent investments include a cardiac catheterization lab and radiation oncology building. Additionally, a new cancer center now provides clinical trials and other advanced treatments including stereotactic radiosurgery capabilities, a treatment used to reach tumors that are inoperable or difficult to treat. As part of UCHealth, the new cancer center offers access to Colorado's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center program, one of only 47 in the United States.

The design of the expansion will complement plans by Children's Hospital Colorado to build a full-service pediatric hospital on the UCHealth Memorial North campus. The hospitals will collaborate to ensure the community has access to advanced adult and pediatric care on the same campus, and both projects are expected to be completed in 2018 or early 2019.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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