Hospital expands local footprint to keep more kids closer to home
Nearly 400 attendees gathered to celebrate a historic moment for southern Colorado kids. Children’s Colorado celebrated the ribbon cutting of its newest hospital: Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs. The 294,000-square-foot, 111-bed facility will serve as southern Colorado’s first pediatric-only hospital and provide more than 175,000 kids in southern Colorado and surrounding states with pediatric care closer to home.
"Today, we were humbled and honored to celebrate our ribbon cutting alongside our patients and their loving families, our dedicated team, our supportive community leaders and our generous donors,” said Margaret Sabin, President of Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs and the system’s Southern Region. “We are continually overwhelmed by the magnanimous outpouring of support and generosity of this community and supporting donors. Today would not be possible without them. We are honored to help bring it to fruition.”
Patients serve as ribbon-cutting masters
The ribbon-cutting masters of ceremony were patients Lauren Schwamb, 13, and Kaden Ford, 16, who spoke about the hospital’s presence in Colorado Springs and what it means to have closer access to cardiology and neurology services. Additional speakers at the event included (in speaking order):
- Mayor of Colorado Springs John Suthers, who spoke to the importance the new hospital brings to the community
- Jena Hausmann, President and CEO of Children’s Colorado, who spoke with Sabin
- Greg Raymond, Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs and the system’s Southern Region, who read a letter written by Kelly Stevenson, the mother of the first patients at the new hospital
- Jalen Thompson, a patient and cancer survivor, who read a poem about the new hospital
- Jim Johnson, the President and CEO of GE Johnson, the general contractor of the new hospital
“Today, I was honored to share a message from the mom of our very first patients,” Raymond said. “Nothing I could have said in my own words would have been more meaningful than to be able to convey – in her own words – that our hospital is serving its intended purpose. All the planning and the work this team has completed over the past several years has amounted to this moment and validated by Kelly’s story.”
Together, patients and hospital leaders cut the ribbon to symbolize the grand opening of the facility. The ceremony concluded with the arrival of the Children’s Colorado helicopter. Miles the Mascot from the Denver Broncos, a partner of Children’s Colorado, made a special visit to celebrate the day with the attendees before making a special visit to see kids at the hospital.
“Colorado Springs is a top-ranked city and today Children’s Colorado has delivered on its promise to bring us a top-ranked children’s hospital,” Suthers said. “This new hospital is what kids in our community deserve – to have expert, pediatric care close to home. Children’s Colorado is helping secure this community’s future by investing in our region and the health of the future of our community by caring for our kids.”
Announced in November 2015, the hospital broke ground in November 2016 and began active construction of the building in June 2017. The ribbon-cutting follows nearly two years of construction and the successful licensing and accreditation of the hospital. The hospital opened as a pediatric trauma level II facility.
In addition to having the region’s first pediatric-only emergency department, with 33 exam rooms and 6 behavioral health rooms, Children’s Colorado can now provide comprehensive cancer care to kids in Colorado Springs, where they can receive both inpatient and outpatient services at a top pediatric cancer program. Other features include a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, a sleep study lab, an epilepsy monitoring unit and the region’s first operating rooms built just for kids.
Pediatric care in southern Colorado
Children’s Colorado specializes in providing family-centered care and built the hospital with family needs in mind. This includes providing private inpatient rooms with pull-out beds for families and private bathrooms, playrooms staffed by child life experts, family areas for parents and siblings, and Till Express, a café operated by local favorite Till. Families can also take advantage of the Ronald McDonald Family Room with laundry services, in addition to the new Ronald McDonald House adjacent to the hospital, expected to open this August.
Children’s Colorado has been present in southern Colorado since 2001. In addition to the new hospital, it provides the pediatric expertise at UCHealth Memorial Central Hospital and outpatient care across more than 40 specialties at its Briargate location, positioned across from the new hospital.
Children’s Colorado employs more than 1,000 team members at its locations in southern Colorado, and the new hospital is supported by more than 550 faculty, hospital-based and community providers.