24/7 emergency care coming to Avon
AVON – Centura Health announced Wednesday it is investing $11 million a a new 24/7 emergency center and medical space in town. The facility will open in 2016 in the Buck Creek Medical Plaza on Buck Creek Road in Avon, which developers NexCore Group out of Denver broke ground on June 10. The new three-story, 50,000 square-foot medical building is scheduled to open by this time next year; Centura will operate about two-thirds of the facility.
Centura said Wednesday their decision to expand health care services in Eagle County was based on an evaluation of the community’s needs undertaken last fall, including analysis of resident and visitor demographics and the lack of 24/7 emergency services in Avon.
“We did our analysis of the market on the western side of Eagle County, and the need that would support the development of an emergency center there, and it looked very positive,” Paul Chodkowski, CEO of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, said on Wednesday. “NexCore surveyed the community relative to what type of services they would like to see in that building, and the number-one service that came up was emergency services.”
Todd Varney with NexCore Group said the facility will improve health care delivery in Eagle County by providing more convenient and coordinated care in a “one-stop-shop” facility.
“Health care services in the Vail Valley have historically been provided in scattered locations, which primarily tend to be hospital-centric,” he said.
‘VERY COMPLICATED LAND DEAL’
Watching from the sidelines as Varney made his pitch to the town of Avon, Chodkowski said the process of bringing the building to construction went very smooth.
Before NexCore could break ground, they needed the Eagle River Fire and Protection District to partner with the town of Avon and swap lots with NexCore group, who had purchased the adjacent lot with the understanding that it suited the Fire Protection District and town of Avon better and would need to be swapped for the deal to be approved.
“The Town of Avon worked very collaboratively with all stakeholders to help make a very complicated land deal occur, while still maintaining their duty to protect the tax payers in Avon,” Varney said Wednesday. “We sincerely appreciate the efforts made by the ERFPD, Town Manager, Town Council and staff to help expedite the delivery of healthcare in Avon.”
NexCore Group first approached the Avon Planning Commission publicly in March with a rezoning application, development plan approvals followed and by June, the necessary council approvals on those planning commission recommendations had come through in time for NexCore to meet the break-ground deadline of early June in which they had set for themselves.
“It was very seamless,” Chodkowski said. “Very good.”
Avon Councilman Jake Wolf said he was happy to see another health care option come to town.
“We live in the most expensive region in the country, in terms of healthcare insurance costs,” Wolf said. “From what I understand, this is due to the lack of competition with healthcare options … this could reduce everyone’s health care cost. I couldn’t be more proud of it coming to our town.”
Centura now begins the process of developing a clinical plan for the center.
“We’ve discussed our physician coverage with the Centura emergency physician group, and they are extremely interested and excited to be involved,” Chodkowski said.
Operating out of Centura’s 12,000 square-foot emergency center, that group of emergency trained staff will evaluate patients and determine — should additional care be required — what the most appropriate location for additional care should be.
“It could be to stay in Eagle County, it could be to go to a higher level of care within our network or someplace else,” Chodkowski said.
Centura would use local emergency medical services as well as Flight For Life for transfers. Centura Health operated St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Summit County, which is one of 15 hospitals and 11 affiliate hospitals in its network.
In reference to Eagle County’s addition into that network with the new facility in Avon, “The location is ideal,” Chodkowski said.
“It’s directly off the freeway, it will be visible, it will be well done in terms of the building’s aseptic and construction, and I think it will be a premier emergency center with other medical services.”