UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital opens

Patient-centered care is focus, along with state-of-the-art services

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The first full-service hospital in Highlands Ranch officially opened its doors at 5:30 a.m. June 18 and three hours later welcomed the first newborn baby, Eloise Marie Burford.

Eléscha Burford scheduled her delivery a week prior after touring the UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital, 500 Park Central Drive. Aside from being brand new and completely sterile, the hospital also had a staff that made Burford and her husband feel like a top priority, she said.

“The way we were greeted, we felt so comfortable,” said Burford, who was recovering in a spacious room in the hospital's birth center, with unobstructed views of the mountains and a TV mounted on the wall. She held her daughter in her arms. “We left and there was a sense of peace.”

After more than two years of construction, the long-awaited hospital is open for patients. Diane Cookson, the hospital's president, expects to serve people from the south metro Denver area and beyond.

Rather than traveling 25 miles to the University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, patients now have access to state-of-the-art services closer to home.

The six-story, 74-bed hospital features a birth center with C-section operating rooms, Level III neonatal intensive care unit, Level III trauma center, emergency department and advanced cardiac services. A Level III facility means that critical care can be handled in-house.

The adjoining UCHealth Highlands Ranch Medical Center offers a two-story cancer center with advanced oncology services, including clinical trials, chemotherapy and radiation.

The hospital's philosophy is patient-centered care, meaning multiple providers see a patient at once to determine the best path of care moving forward, Cookson said.

“We are here not just to provide a high level of care with great technology,” Cookson said, “but to be a very service-oriented environment.”

Aside from the medical services, the hospital offers an experience for all. Large windows make for satisfying views of the surrounding community. In the waiting rooms are modern, electric fireplaces, comfortable chairs and neutral-colored walls. The décor is not overwhelming, but clean and simple.

“It's so beautiful here,” said Monica Gonzales, a labor and delivery nurse who transferred from Littleton Adventist Hospital. “It's been awesome seeing it come together.”

Roughly 500 employees are on staff at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital, with hundreds more from community physicians' offices and the University of Colorado School of Medicine expected.

“I feel like we are off to a very good start,” Cookson said.

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