CSHP: Responding to recession

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The Great Recession slowed plans for expansion at Colorado Springs Health Partners, forcing it to pull back on plans for a new building and consolidate some patient services to a single location.

CSHP had planned to build on land it owns at Fillmore Avenue and Interstate 25, but was unable to obtain financing for the building during the financial meltdown. So the group moved to Plan B, in which all of its specialized, lab and administrative operations will be located under one roof.

“We decided that instead of getting a loan for $30 million, we tried something different and got a $1 million expansion at Union and Fillmore,” said Debbie Chandler, CEO and executive vice president of the organization.

As both Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services opened new hospitals in northern Colorado Springs, CSHP saw an opportunity to fill space vacated by medical offices moving north with the hospitals.

“Centura vacated half the building we’re taking over,” she said. “That’s about 15,000 square feet … so it’s a good place to consolidate.”

The move represents a “huge undertaking,” she said. Every specialty service will be at one location, in an attempt to be more efficient.

CSHP is the largest private provider in the area and one of the oldest. Some of its buildings are 65 years old. The system has 90 doctors, 20 physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners and nearly 640 support staff.

The changes, Chandler said, have had their upside.

“Our delivery system, with a specialty hub, works to make our footprint smaller. In many ways, we (still) have to be a neighborhood provider, which means we’re pretty spread out. But we need to consolidate those needs whenever we can,” Chandler said.

Although the group chose not to build at Fillmore, it did commit to building at Briargate before the credit crunch — establishing its 12th location in the region.

“Two years later, we probably wouldn’t have done it,” said Lynne Jones, marketing specialist at CSHP.

So CSHP will now vacate its 50-year-old building at 209 S. Nevada Ave. and its administration and corporate offices will move to the Union Medical Campus at Medical Center Point. Its lease calls for the construction and renovation of 63,210 square feet.

The new building will include a diagnostic imaging and urgent-care centers, pharmacy, lab and other medical services.

Its Briargate facility, meanwhile, has allowed it to consolidate two primary-care offices, while a location on Lehmen Avenue will house support services for the practice.

Passing inspection

Pikes Peak Mental Health passed its inspection by the Joint Commission and will continue to be accredited in good standing for three years.

“The Joint Commission continues to be the highest bar one can reach in terms of accreditation of healthcare facilities,” said chief operating officer Kelly Phillips-Henry. “PPMH is the only mental health center in the state of Colorado that holds this accreditation.”

Pikes Peak Mental Health has held accreditation with the Joint Commission for 34 years.

Amy Gillentine can be reached at amy.gillentine@csbj.com or 719-329-5205.