Parkview Health System is ready to open its $58 million Pueblo West orthopedic center — the only one like it in Southern Colorado — where the first three surgeries are set for Sept. 6.
The 58,000-square-foot building is located adjacent to the Parkview emergency services building at Purcell and Industrial in Pueblo West. Tours and a ribbon-cutting celebrated the completion of the project Tuesday, less than two years after the November 2020 groundbreaking.
“This facility is one of the big draws that brought me to this area — it is the ultimate in orthopedic centers,” said Dr. Shane Rothermel, an orthopedic surgeon new to Pueblo. “It is a big deal not just for Pueblo, but there are few orthopedic hospitals nationwide.”
Rothermel, a fellowship-trained specialist who hails from Pennsylvania, conducts knee and hip replacement surgeries as well as treats hip and knee fractures. He even offers a robotically-assisted partial knee replacement.
When it comes to hip replacement, Rothermel is the only physician locally who uses an anterior, or front, approach to access the hip. It is a method that has “gained popularity over the last 20 years because you don’t have to cut through muscles or tendons and the patient can recover quicker and get moving faster,” he explained.
About half of the hip replacement surgeries in the country are done with the front approach because it is a method that “is a game changer for people because it helps them get back to normal as soon as possible,” said Leslie Barnes, Parkview president and chief executive officer.
No more long treks up north for Southern Colorado patients
Barnes said Parkview’s orthopedic center is “guaranteed as good as anything you will find to the north” in Colorado Springs or Denver, so patients from Pueblo and surrounding communities will no longer have to make those long treks to the metro area.
Barnes said she is “very proud” of the surgery center, which features six state-of-the-art operating rooms, 29 spacious patient rooms where most patients won’t stay more than a night, 25 surgery prep bays, a sterile processing area, a full lab, a pharmacy and a rehabilitation center.
From consultation to surgery to rehab, the Pueblo West hospital will be a one-stop center for orthopedic patients. The center is desperately needed to relieve pressure at Parkview’s “landlocked” campus in Pueblo and because the hospital could host between 4,000 to 5,000 orthopedic surgeries in a year, Barnes said.
“We have a very high volume of demand for service in orthopedics,” she said.
“One of the things this new facility will provide is the opportunity to keep growing our orthopedic services,” said Maggie Welte, Parkview Pueblo West administrator. “We have seen the need to increase our services over the past few years, but now we can cater to all of the people that require our orthopedic services throughout Southern Colorado.”
More on Parkview:Parkview’s $58 million orthopedic hospital opening by fall in Pueblo West
Family-friendly amenities available for those waiting on their loved one
The new surgical center wasn’t built with just the patient in mind. It is family-friendly for those waiting on a loved one.
There is a cafe with inside and outside patio seating, comfortable waiting rooms, a quarter-mile outdoor wellness trail, and artwork created by area artists of local scenes, like the steel mill. The $600,000 wellness trail was funded completely by private donations to the hospital’s foundation, and its exercise equipment, a shady pergola and picnic tables are open for public use.
When the patient is ready to go home, there is a pull-up area where a loved one can drive right to the back door for pick-up.
The hospital also has a state-of-the-art classroom that can receive a live feed from an operating room so “rather than trying to cram 20 people in the operating room,” doctors can give instruction from across the building as students watch on the big screen, Rothermel said.
“We are excited for this technology, and it’s a great way to interact between staff and physicians,” Barnes said.
Among the “firsts” for Parkview is a post-surgical exercise area where some unusual equipment is waiting to help joint replacement patients prepare to go home — including a mock car.
“The car is new — we’ve not had that before. When you have a joint replacement, you have to rethink getting in and out of the car or the bathtub or going up and down stairs,” Barnes said, pointing to each station in the room.
When full surgical loads start Sept. 7, the orthopedic hospital will be the workplace for just under 100 staffers.
It was completed “reasonably on budget of $58 million to build and equip,” Barnes said, despite all the pandemic-era supply and price increase challenges. Since the hospital sits on a 35-acre lot, “we could add other things down the road.”
Before that happens, Parkview will open its new cancer center in October. It is located across from the main Pueblo campus at 400 W. 16th St.
Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.