Yampa Valley Medical Center, UCHealth invite public to celebrate partnership | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Medical Center, UCHealth invite public to celebrate partnership

After more than a year of planning Yampa Valley Medical Center will officially mark its partnership with UCHealth Medical Group with a celebration, set for 11:30 a.m. today at the YVMC campus.

The work has been completed, and now, the leadership of Yampa Valley Medical Center and UCHealth are inviting the public to celebrate.

The deal was months in the making, but YVMC and UCHealth have made their partnership official and have planned public events to mark the occasion, including a celebration on Friday, Sept. 1 at YVMC, 1024 Central Park Drive. A sign reveal will take place at 11:30 a.m., followed by a reception and a slate of speakers at noon.

"We're hopeful a good number of community members are able to join us," said Frank May, chief executive officer of YVMC. "It's taken some work to get to where we are, but now, it's time to celebrate and look forward to the future of health care at YVMC."

It's a partnership that has taken more than a year to arrange. It began when the Steamboat Springs hospital announced in July 2016 its intent to seek out a Front Range partner as part of a new strategic plan. In March officials with YVMC announce that the medical center was pursuing a merger with the UCHealth hospital system, which includes Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, UCHealth Medical Group, Broomfield Hospital, Grandview Hospital and University of Colorado Hospital.

"Today is a huge milestone in our journey to improve the health of individuals, our community and the value of health care," May said. "UCHealth is a nationally-recognized health care network and continually advances the delivery of health care. We're excited to now be part of that movement and to have access to innovative technology, additional sub-specialists and improved coordination of care for our patients."

In addition to May, several speakers are slated for Friday’s celebration, including Rich Lowe, chair and member YVMC’s Board of Trustees; Kevin Unger president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies; Lisa Kettering, M.D., and chief medical officer at YVMC; and Tom Downes, M.D., chief medical officer at Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies.

"We are excited and honored to welcome YVMC and its talented providers and staff to the UCHealth family," said Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth president and CEO. "Our organizations have very similar missions and values, and we are always focused on providing excellent, personalized care for patients. Through this partnership, YVMC will continue to grow, providing additional services and resources for patients throughout Northwest Colorado."

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The union of the two health care providers became official at midnight, as UCHealth welcomed YVMC to the family.

UCHealth and YVMC officials said the medical center will continue to care for patients throughout the region, and UCHealth has pledged to invest $105 million that will benefit YVMC and the community. UCHealth has made commitments related to technology, behavioral health and substance abuse resources; commitments to infrastructure and service line improvements and expansions, including those related to orthopedics and emergency and trauma services; and a significant donation to the YVMC Foundation, as well as partnership in the UCHealth integrated network. This broader network of care will continue improving value, quality, providers satisfaction and patient experience.

Work has already begun to implement a number of technology systems, including EPIC, a leading electronic medical record software system. A patient portal, My Health Connection, and a mobile app will give patients additional access to their medical data and general health information. UCHealth and YVMC are also discussing plans to recruit providers and increase the number of innovative clinical trials and advanced treatments available to patients in Northwest Colorado.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," May said. "Over the next 10 years and beyond, patients and our community will see and feel the benefits of this partnership. UCHealth has a huge focus on population health and keeping people healthy. They understand the importance of us providing local care and want to make sure our patients have the right access at the right time."

The Board of Trustees at YVMC will continue to provide local governance, and the leadership stressed that the  hospital will remain a major employer in Steamboat Springs, supporting community organizations, as it has done since its inception.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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