YVMC plans updates in emergency department, orthopedics, child care | SteamboatToday.com

YVMC plans updates in emergency department, orthopedics, child care

Teresa Ristow

Registered nurses Annabelle Fisher, left, and Debbie Kennedy, middle, go over operations with emergency room technician Julie McElvain during a rare slow moment at the Yampa Valley Medical Center's ER. The YVMC Foundation is in the planning stages of a future fundraising campaign to improve the Emergency Department, create an orthapedics center and expand the GrandKids child care facility.

— With construction of a new Cancer Center underway, Yampa Valley Medical Center leaders already have their sights on what may be the hospital's next big project.

Plans under consideration for the three-fold project include building an expanded emergency department, designing and launching an orthopedic center and enhancing pediatric programs, including the expansion of the GrandKids Child Care Center.

Construction for the new and enhanced departments could begin in early summer 2017, and preliminary estimates suggest project costs may total $23 million.

As one of the first steps of the project, YVMC Foundation has partnered with CCS Fundraising to conduct a philanthropic campaign feasibility and planning study.

More than 1,200 community members have been asked to respond to the survey to gauge interest in the proposed projects and philanthropic support.

"The hospital is looking at the future and what the next steps are," said Liz Finegan, executive director of the YVMC Foundation.

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The foundation expects to receive a final report from the survey May 11 and will close its ongoing fundraising campaign for the Cancer Center before embarking on a new capital campaign a few months later.

Finegan said the foundation hasn't yet determined how much money it might attempt to raise for the project, but she was certain it would only be a percentage of the overall project's possible $23 million price tag.

The study report would help determine the size, scope and timing of the future fundraising campaign.

"Only a portion of the project will come from philanthropy," she said.

Finegan had few details to share about the upcoming project itself, other than what was included in a background statement sent to survey takers this spring.

The hospital is aiming to build an expanded Level III Trauma Emergency Department to help update the currently overcrowded emergency department, which sees about 8,100 patients annually.

Updates to the current Level IV department are expected to total $6 million.

The hospital also plans to design and launch an Orthopedics Center of Excellence to accommodate local and national orthopedists.

Currently, there are three Steamboat-based orthopedic practices which include orthopedists that have privileges to perform surgeries at YVMC, but no orthopedists are employees of the hospital.

This new center would total about $15 million in capital and programmatic costs.

Lastly, the hospital is planning to relocate pediatric physical therapy services from “The Little House” on Pine Grove Road to the hospital's main campus and expand the GrandKids Child Care Center.

The childcare facility, which offers care for children of YVMC employees and anyone in the community, has historically been at capacity with a waiting list.

Adding capacity will help address the community's need for more early childhood care spots, as identified in a recent countywide business climate study.

Finnegan said the nonprofit hospital relies on three funding sources for major capital campaigns — philanthropy, patient revenue and bond financing.

The high level of local participation in philanthropy campaigns through the years shows the community is interested in receiving high-quality medical care close to home.

The foundation's recent goal to raise $1.5 million to support the Cancer Center was well surpassed, with the organization collecting $3.75 million as of last week.

The center has been named the Jan Bishop Cancer Center.

"People really want to have a strong hospital here," Finegan said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow