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Eagle Healthcare Center opens Monday

Connie SteiertEagle CorrespondentVail CO, Colorado
Kathy Heicher/EnterpriseExecutives from Vail Valley Medical Center and Valley View Hospital participated in a ceremony at new Eagle Healthcare Center Tuesday. From left to right: Vail hospital CEO Greg Repetti; Dr. Angela Ammon; project manager Roxie Deane; Dr. Jack Eck; Dr. Drew Werner (in back); and Valley View CEO Gary Brewer.
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EAGLE For many years, two separate medical clinics have served the downvalley community. Loyal patients choose one or the other. They then travel east or west to visit one of the hospitals the clinics are affiliated with.Now, patients can go to one central facility and receive the same care theyve known for years. The Eagle Healthcare Center will open for business on Nov. 5, at 377 Sylvan Lake Road in Eagle. Housed in the new, 34,700-square-foot-facility are both the Colorado Mountain Medical Center and the Eagle Valley Medical Center, as well as rehabilitation centers, radiology and doctors offices.The medical center is a joint venture by two competing hospitals Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.Think of it as a medical mall concept one place where most patients needs can be addressed, said Stan Anderson, senior vice president of operations for the Vail hospital. Is it strange for these normally competing entities to work together? Not at all, says Valley View CEO Gary Brewer. Both have had a presence in Eagle for years. Valley View has had a medical center here since 1962.You know, we are competing, but theres so much of an overlap, Brewer said.Eagle Ranch donated 13.5 acres to the Town of Eagle in 2000. When East-West Partners suggested a joint venture, the two hospitals agreed they might as well compete within the same building; and avoid some duplication of equipment and facilities.The arrangement will give patients even more choices, Anderson said. We have two big hospitals and they are providing the best of the best.This is a huge thing for Eagle. To have Vail Valley Medical Center and Valley View Hospital together in one facility is really exciting, said Roxie Deane, project manager for the medical center.

Architect HLM-Heery designed the facility on two main levels, with two main entrances and two very separate and distinct functions. On the upper level, patients will find the family practices of the Eagle Valley Medical Center and Colorado Mountain Medical. Downstairs are both the Howard Head Sports Medicine and Valley View Rehabilitation Centers. Patients on crutches or with mobility issues can enter without using stairs. Also on this level is Imaging Services.

Both the Eagle Valley Medical Center and Colorado Mountain Medical family practice spaces are similarly designed. Both centers open onto spacious reception areas, with views of the surrounding valley. Private exam rooms, procedure rooms where anything from a suture to a lumpectomy can be performed and consultation offices are beyond the reception area. Behind the scenes are doctors offices, nurses stations, supply rooms, and staff spaces with separate entrances. Colorado Mountain Medical has a glass-enclosed space where physicians can give medical presentations or screenings for the public. Eagle Valley Medical is developing a medical library for public use.But there are differences, too. Interior designer Gallun and Snow, which designed all the buildings common spaces, also helped with the medical centers. Colorado Mounain Medical opted for a sleek, stylish look while Eagle Valley Medical created a homey feel with rolled arm sofas and a fireplace.

The Howard Head Sports Medicine center is affiliated with Vail Valley Medical, while Valley View Rehabilitation Center is affiliated with Valley View Hospital. Both centers have generous physical therapy space, with rehabilitation/exercise equipment and private examination rooms. The centers will offer both physical and occupational therapists.The physical therapy facilities are tentatively set to open on Nov. 7.

Because of the sizable cost of diagnostic equipment, the two entities will share the machines and offices of the Imaging Services facility.It doesnt make sense to double the money and the staff, Anderson said. The radiology department will include x-ray and bone density equipment, operated by the same technicians. (The center is considering adding mammography services, too.) Images can be transmitted to either hospital to be read.We can take care of patients there, instead of them driving farther distances for everything we do, Brewer said. Thats kind of the vision of both hospitals.Theres also an unfinished, 4,000-square-foot space, for future needs. Judging by current population growth, said Anderson, Over the next 10 years, demands will just keep going up.This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.


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