Vail Health’s Dillon medical center set for fall completion
Construction is continuing according to plan at Vail Health’s new Dillon Health Center located on the corner of U.S. Highway 6 and Dillon Dam Road.
When the health system broke ground on the 85,000-square-foot building, the goal was to have construction completed in fall 2021 while meeting a $70 million budget. So far, Vail Health and its developing partner have been able to stick to that plan.
“We still got nine or 10 months to go and if it’s nine versus if it’s 10, that’s a different dollar amount,” said Craig Cohn, Vail Health’s chief real estate and development officer. “Within a reasonable range, we still feel like we’re tracking relatively close to schedule and on budget for the project.”
When it’s complete, the health center will offer a wide variety of services, including urgent, primary and specialty care. Family medicine will be offered through Colorado Mountain Medical, which is a subsidiary of Vail Health.
When it comes to specialty care, the center will offer a wide array of options. The center will provide cancer care that is more comprehensive than what Vail Health already has in the county, CEO Will Cook said.
At the center, patients will be able to access breast cancer services, such as mammograms and a breast surgeon, through the Shaw Cancer Center. The center will also have a medical oncologist and radiation oncologist who will consult cancer patients about their treatment. Along with the cancer care, the center will have immunotherapy services for cancer patients.
“It’s a really important and newer service for oncology that really helps the immunocompromised cancer patients in fending off viruses, like COVID,” Cook said.
Cook said the health system is also considering adding a linear accelerator to the building, which would allow the center to offer radiation therapy.
The center will also offer orthopedic and physical therapy care through the Steadman Clinic, Howard Head Sports Medicine and Vail-Summit Orthopedics & Neurosurgery. With that comes an ambulatory surgery center, which will allow for surgeries that don’t require extensive time in a hospital.
“The advantage to that is that they are less expensive than hospital-based services,” Cook said. “People who before would have to go over the pass to have their surgery can now have it in this ambulatory surgery center, assuming that it’s not something that’s more acute and requires hospital care.”
The ultimate goal in all of the services is to offer something that is convenient and affordable to Summit County residents, Cook said.
Vail Health has been working with local nonprofits Peak Health Alliance and the Summit Community Care Clinic to get a sense of the needs within the community and brainstorm ways to offer affordable specialty care.
“Some of the folks who receive care (at the community care clinic) need specialty care that they don’t sometimes have,” Cook said. “How can we create capacity to treat some of their patients but do it at the rates that are within their federally qualified health care center structure?”
The center will also offer behavioral health services. Cook said Vail Health will be working with Building Hope to ensure that people receive the mental health care they need.
“If you get upstream to problems and give someone access to a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a behavioral health therapist, especially when many of us don’t have our family support system around us, then you not only improve that person’s life because you’re managing the problem,” Cook said. “But if you don’t do it and the problem festers they end up in the emergency department.”
Although all of the surgeons and physicians for the new center have been hired, Cook said the health system is in the process of hiring additional staff. People can apply by visiting VailHealthJobs.org/dillon-project.php.