UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital inching closer to opening

Facility will feature innovative cancer center, neonatal intensive care unit

Posted 12/4/18

UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital is nearing completion. The colossal building, located to the south of restaurants and retail in the Central Park development, is on track to open in March 2019. …

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UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital inching closer to opening

Facility will feature innovative cancer center, neonatal intensive care unit

Posted

UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital is nearing completion. The colossal building, located to the south of restaurants and retail in the Central Park development, is on track to open in March 2019.

UCHealth determined that Highlands Ranch was an optimal location for the hospital based on demographics and the growth in population of surrounding areas, the hospital's CEO, Diane Cookson, said in the spring.

The population of Douglas County grew from 285,465 people in 2010 to 322,387 residents in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sterling Ranch, a large community under construction west of Highlands Ranch, is expected to bring more than 30,000 people in the next 20 years.

Surrounding the hospital's six-story patient tower will be an outdoor eating area, healing garden for patients, medical office building, parking decks and space for expansion.

The Central Park development, owned by Shea Properties, is taking shape with dozens of single-family homes, a regional park, communication tower for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and a variety of popular restaurants, retail and boutique fitness studios. Torchy's Tacos, Shake Shack and Orangetheory Fitness are among the options.

Quick facts

The hospital's medical campus features a 340,000-square-foot hospital with enough room for 87 inpatient beds and an 85,000-square-foot medical office. The medical facility will have a birth center with C-section operating rooms, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, an intensive care unit with 18 beds and six operating rooms. There will be an emergency department, advanced cardiac services and a cancer center.

The $375 million project has generated 675 construction jobs and will provide 400 permanent jobs at completion, according to UCHealth.

Chief medical officer has been hired

Dr. Tom Purcell, a medical oncologist who specializes in lung and gastrointestinal cancers and drug development, has been hired as the hospital's chief medical officer and system director for all cancer care.

Purcell grew up in Mississippi and attended medical school at Emory University. He completed his residency and chief residency in Texas and a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he also served on the faculty. He has been at UCHealth for seven years.

Purcell will act as the lead physician at the new Highlands Ranch hospital. He will be responsible for all of the medical staff, about 400 physicians.

His motto: “You try to cure disease whenever possible, extend quality of life whenever possible, but comfort always.”

Cancer center

UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital Cancer Center is connected with the University of Colorado Cancer Center and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, which together are designated as the only comprehensive cancer center in a five-state region by the National Cancer Institute.

Highlands Ranch's cancer center will provide advanced cancer treatments, clinical trials and multi-disciplinary teams that work together on behalf of the patients. The teams are made up of doctors that specialize in specific types of cancer and conduct research.

“The key is we are all in the same building, we see the patient together, we bring the multidisciplinary approach,” Purcell said. “That is the best way to deliver care for cancer.”

What makes the hospital's cancer center unique is that all services will be in the same location. Surgeons, radiation doctors and medical oncology doctors will be located on the same floor. Below will be the treatment location, which will have an infusion center and radiation delivery.

Now hiring

The new hospital still needs to fill 240 positions, according to a media release from UCHealth. Job opportunities, which are listed at careers.uchealth.org, include registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, radiography technicians, MRI technicians, medical lab scientists, respiratory therapists and more.

"We are looking for individuals who want to make sure patients and their families always have excellent health care experiences and are strongly passionate about helping them get back to living extraordinary lives," Cookson said in the media release.

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