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Monday, January 20, 2020  

Kaiser Permanente expanding northwardPublished 7/19/2004

by Mike Lee

Staff Writer

Staff and administrators are eagerly awaiting the opening of Kaiser Permanente’s new Rock Creek Medical Facility, scheduled to come online later this year.

Marcia Goss, RN, and Allergy Charge Nurse/Manager said there is plenty of excitement surrounding the opening of the new facility.

Much thought was given to the name of the building which reflects more than just the purpose it serves.

"This name recognizes the nearby Rock Creek Open Space land, which preserves this property’s wonderful Front Range views," said Chris Binkley, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Colorado region.

The building was dedicated April 9 with a ceremony that included the sealing of a time capsule in a doctor’s bag, a fitting tribute for a facility that promises to meet the needs of its patients through innovative ways.

The 200,000-square-foot, four-story building will offer both specialty care and primary care services to patients. When it opens, it will provide a convenient location for Kaiser Permanente members in the north metro area.

Currently, Kaiser Permanente has one specialty care medical office in central Denver, which is reaching capacity.

It will be the first medical office building to be built on the new Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center campus.

The 144-bed hospital is scheduled to open in fall 2004. Kaiser Permanente’s Rock Creek Medical Office Building will be attached to the new hospital.

Jack Cochran, MD, executive medical director of Kaiser Permanente, hailed the new building as the next step in a long-standing relationship between the health plan and Exempla.

"Together we have built a reputation for quality that leads the nation. This Lafayette project enables us to build on those achievements and to be more convenient to our north metro patients," Cochran said.

The $73 million office building is designed to ultimately accommodate 500 physicians and staff.

The facility is unique in that nurses had a lot of input during the design phase of the work space areas. Nurses’ input was integrated into making the environment more nurse friendly, thus improving patient care in the long run.

The facility is set to open in December of this year starting with primary care services.

Currently, nearly all Kaiser Permanente members see specialists such as cardiologists, neurologists, urologists and rheumatologists at the Franklin Medical Office in central Denver. When they need hospital treatment, they go to Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, adjacent to the Franklin Medical Office, or to The Children’s Hospital or Boulder Community Hospital. When Kaiser Permanente’s contract with Boulder Community expires Dec. 31, 2004, north area patients will be referred to the new Exempla hospital in Lafayette.

Kaiser Permanente is a non-profit health care organization that cares for more than 400,000 members in the six-county Denver metro area and in Colorado Springs. Kaiser Permanente’s membership is now around the 416,000 mark in Colorado. Its scores for clinical effectiveness placed it among the top 15 health plans in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s annual Health Care Quality Report. In the Denver metro area, care is provided by a coordinated team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, mental health counselors and physical therapists. In the Colorado Springs area, Kaiser Permanente cares for its members through an affiliated network of community-based physicians and other health care providers.

"It’s great," Goss said. "Kaiser Permanente has needed a specialty and hospital presence in the north area for a long time. (Among the staff) there was some hesitancy about the change at first, but now everyone is happy and getting excited about a new place and are up for the challenge."

Goss stressed that the new facility will allow Kaiser Permanente to provide easier access to specialty services for its customers.

"(There was) a strong need," Goss said. "The 20th Avenue campus has been bursting at the seams for years. The expansion should improve the departments’ ability to not only continue the best care possible but, perhaps, in some instances improve their services because they’ll now have the room they need and with the expansion may come some ‘latest and greatest’ equipment."

Goss is now in her 30th year with Kaiser Permanente and said the physical move to the new facility shouldn’t be a large undertaking.

"I’m blessed to have some super organized people in the department," she said. "I think the hardest part will be having our patients remember that the Westminster Allergy-Asthma will close entirely and move to Rock Creek because regardless of how many times it’s said or ways are found to say it, people forget."v

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