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History of Poudre Valley Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System

Table of contents

The beginning
Growth fuels restructuring, expansion
PVH remodeled, MCR opens

The beginning

Poudre Valley Hospital (originally the Larimer County Hospital) was built in 1925 as a 40-bed facility on the outskirts of Fort Collins, Colorado. It cost $181,001.14 to build. The 40 acres adjacent to the hospital were used to raise vegetables, hogs, sheep, and chickens to feed patients.

After World War II, increased enrollment at what is now Colorado State University helped the population of Fort Collins grow -- and so did PVH.

The size of the hospital more than doubled to 86 beds. (It has had 235 beds in recent years, by comparison). The hospital experienced a dramatic advance in the 1960s when local voters approved a ballot issue which created the Poudre Valley Hospital District, overseen by a board of elected directors, and separated the hospital from county government. This also enabled the new district to collect a mill levy on property taxes. The revenue was used to improve technology and expand the hospital operation to meet the public's growing health care demands.

But formation of the district had not been easy. It required a new state law which passed the Colorado Legislature in 1958.

The new district board placed a mill levy on property taxes and then purchased the hospital and accompanying land from the county. In 1962, the hospital was renamed Poudre Valley Memorial Hospital. "Memorial" was dropped from the name in 1982.

Growth fuels restructuring, expansion

In 1994, the district board completed a major organizational restructuring. The hospital was turned over to a new board, which created a not-for-profit, charitable corporation, Poudre Valley Heatlh  Care, Inc., doing business as Poudre Valley Health System, that will operate PVH through terms of a 50-year lease with the hospital district.

This arrangement allows the hospital and the growing Poudre Valley Health System to be more flexible in responding to rapid changes in health care. It also meant PVH no longer received any local property tax revenue.

The rapid population increase in northern Colorado demanded hospital expansion. By the mid-1990s, the hospital had formally developed the Heart Center of the Rockies, Regional Neurosciences Center, and the Regional Orthopedic Center. In 1997, the hospital's trauma service, Trauma Center of the Rockies, received a Level II designation from the state as a regional provider and resource for trauma-related injuries.

In 2000, Harmony Campus opened its doors. It combined physician offices, an outpatient services center, and a cancer center.

Some two dozen primary care and specialist physician practices occupy a medical office building at Harmony.

In 2005, a second medical office building was added.

The ambulatory (outpatient) care center includes an outpatient surgery center, a comprehensive radiology and imaging department, with MRI, CT, and PET scanning capabilities, the Breast Diagnostic Center, a cardiac catheterization laboratory, an urgent care center, a clinical laboratory, and pharmacy operated by Good Day.

PVH remodeled, MCR opens

Poudre Valley Hospital has been expanded and remodeled so that nearly all patients stay in private rooms. The renovation included nearly all nursing units and patient rooms, and added two floors to the building above the main entrance.

In April 2004, to meet increasing demand, PVHS began laying the groundwork for a new hospital -- Medical Center of the Rockies, located in Loveland, Colo., along Interstate 25. Medical Center of the Rockies opened in February 2007.

Today, with these examples of growth and change, Poudre Valley Health System remains a leader in providing high-quality health care and innovative community service programs for the residents of northern Colorado, western Nebraska and southern Wyoming.

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University of Colorado Health employees dedicate themselves to providing patients and other customers with world-class care and service. Outside organizations recognize that, calling University of Colorado Health's hospitals some of the best in Colorado and even the best in the nation. Some of those accolades are listed below:



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