Oct 1, 2012 11:12 PM by Andy Koen

A seamless transfer for Memorial Hospital

She may not realize it until years later, but little Ella Molina holds a special place in the history of Memorial Hospital. Born at 12:14 a.m. at Memorial Hospital North, Ella was the first baby delivered at either of Memorial's two hospitals following the transfer of ownership from the City of Colorado Springs to University of Colorado Health.

"We named her after my great-grandmother," explains her mom Jennifer Molina.

From their room in Labor and Delivery, Molina and the baby's father David Kostka said they were completely unaware any change had happened.

"No, they just told us and we were like, that's cool," Kostka said.

While it may have looked seamless to patients like Molina and Kostka, on paper there were over a thousand contracts, leases, vendor agreements, physician agreements, licenses and other operational and legal obligations that had to be drawn up.

City Attorney Chris Melcher said the fact that all of the hospital's 4,000 plus employees who went to work on Sunday still had jobs on Monday is another testament to the successful transition.

"We negotiated with our partner UCH that no employees would lose their job as a result of this transaction and I'm very happy to report that no employees have lost their jobs," Melcher said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

As part of the deal, the city received $259 million in cash up front: a $74 million payment plus $185 million to buy out the pension obligations from the state's Public Employees Retirement Association. They also received $340 million in escrow to pay off all public debt owed by the hospital.

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach hopes as new babies like Ella grow, so will a community nest egg built by annual lease payments of $5.5 million.

"The goal is that over generations this will grow, I hope ultimately in 20 years, certainly beyond that, that this would be a fund that would be available to our community help in the best ways possible."

The fund will be run by the new Colorado Springs Health Foundation which will have the mission of improving the health in the Colorado Springs community.


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