October 1st marks five years of Memorial Hospital being part of UCHealth. In 2012 Colorado Springs voters approved a long-term lease agreement, since then Memorial has seen record growth.
In the past five years Memorial's health locations in the Pikes Peak region have jumped from 8 to 22. According to Joel Yuhas, UCHealth Memorial's President and CEO, more growth is on the way.
"We're celebrating our fifth year as part of the UCHealth family on Sunday," said Yuhas.
Yuhas has been President and CEO of UCHealth Memorial since January, he joined one of the fastest growing hospitals in the country.
"Over the five year period there's just been year on year growth consecutively as the hospital transitioned from a city hospital to now a community teaching hospital as part of UCHealth," said Yuhas.
Over that time inpatient admissions have grown 44 percent, outpatient visits are up 70 percent, and health care locations started with 8, now there's 22.
"Our primary goal is to improve accessibility for our patients wherever they demand care," said Yuhas.
In 2012 there was less than 50 doctors and specialists at Memorial, today there's more than 230, but that's not enough.
"We have a continued unmet need for primary care," said Yuhas, "Today we are roughly about 170 primary care providers short in this community."
The hospital hopes to tackle that need like they have with cardiovascular care and an emphasis on neurosciences, in particular stroke patients. The hospital has invested millions to treat stroke patients in southern Colorado instead of flying them to Denver.
"It has taken something that was an hour and a half to two and a half hours long previously to 30 to 40 minutes on average now," said Yuhas.
More growth is in the works, Memorial North is seeing a $128 million addition focusing on pregnancy care and a children's hospital. Grandview Hospital near the UCCS campus recently opened, and a Memorial East location is in the works.
"More physical growth and more investments in the core programs and services that define UCHealth Memorial," said Yuhas.
Yuhas also tells me around 20 percent of UCHealth Memorial patients are veterans or active military. The next step in care could be a location to provide military members with primary physicians so they don't have to wait months to see a doctor.