No controversies emerge over Edwards surgery center plan |

No controversies emerge over Edwards surgery center plan

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado – The new Edwards surgery center could create about 32 new jobs and should open in spring 2012, hospital officials said.

Vail Valley Medical Center folks held a meeting in Edwards on Thursday night to share details with neighbors and address any concerns they might have. No neighbors showed up.

Work on the new surgery center should start this coming spring, said Scott Nevin, a principal with Davis Partnership Architects in Edwards.

Plans include a 20,000-square-foot addition to the existing Edwards Pavilion, which stands next to the Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

Dan Feeney, senior project engineer for the medical center, said the $15 million to $20 million surgery center will include four operating rooms.

The center will offer plastic, gastrointestinal, orthopedic and outpatient surgeries, along with breast reconstruction surgery, medical center Chief Operating Officer Tom Mars said.

Currently, the Vail hospital is the only Vail Valley Medical Center facility that offers surgeries, and it’s facing a growing demand for its eight operating rooms.

“We’ve reached capacity in the number of surgeries we can do there,” Mars said.

The hospital decided to expand in Edwards so people downvalley would have an opportunity to get their surgeries done closer to home.

“It makes sense to come down to Edwards so local folks don’t have to come down to Vail,” Mars said. “It’s more convenient. It takes some of the pressure off Vail with the parking.”

The new center will create about 32 new jobs for doctors, nurses and business office employees, Feeney said. Some of those employees may relocate from the Vail hospital, in which case the hospital will fill the vacant positions in Vail, he said. The hospital is still working out which existing Vail Valley Medical Center doctors will work at the surgery center, Feeney said.

Along with catering to locals, he expects the facility to draw patients from outside the valley. Eventually, Feeney said the center could see 450 to 500 surgery cases per month.

Located on the north and east sides of the Edwards Pavilion, the center would roughly double the size of the building.

Hospital officials plan to pick a contractor in the next six to eight weeks. Designs will eventually come before the Eagle County planning commission, although no date has been set for the meeting.

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