Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Fourteener, the official digital newsletter for the Veterans of VA ECHCS. We are proud to serve YOU!
Greetings! My name is Sallie Houser-Hanfelder and I am the Director of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS). Welcome to the first edition of your quarterly newsletter. I am excited to share news about your new Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center (RMRVAMC) in Aurora!
In this inaugural first edition, you will read about what makes your new medical center special. You’ll learn about new services we will be able to provide that we couldn’t before, and how this will make RMR a destination health care facility for many Veterans.
The official RMR ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on July 21, 2018, but we are not waiting until the doors open to load test the various equipment and systems that will help us provide world-class care to you. We are conducting important test days to familiarize our staff with their new equipment and work spaces, facility layout and workflow. I’m happy to report we found opportunities for improvement and made the changes and tweaks necessary to serve you better.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to show you your beautiful new state of the art medical center. I am sure you will love it and will be proud to call it your own. Thank you all for your service, and for choosing to let us serve you!
•The Emergency Department at the Denver VAMC will close at 7 a.m. on August 4, 2018, while the Emergency Department at the Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC will open simultaneously
•All Veterans should have received a phone call and/or a letter in the mail asking whether they wanted to move their care to the new RMRVAMC or if they want to stay at the Denver VAMC. If you decide to stay but your provider is moving, you will be assigned to a new provider. If you have not received a call or letter asking for your preference, please call (888) 336-8262
•The address of your new Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center is:
1700 North Wheeling Street, Aurora, Colorado, 80045
“How is RMR different than the Denver campus?"
Below, you can see a facility comparison chart that breaks down the amount of space that will be gained in the new medical center.
First, most patient rooms in the new medical center will be private rooms with private en-suite bathrooms. This will be extremely beneficial to patients and their families, and will encourage family members to stay longer during inpatient visits. Studies show patients recover more quickly with support from family and friends, and private inpatient rooms will contribute to better health care outcomes. The private rooms will also allow for more in-depth and private conversations between patients and their health care providers.
We made space for our brand new 30-bed Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders Unit. This is a new unit for ECHCS, and when it opens early 2019, it will make RMR a destination health care facility for many of our nation’s heroes who have previously driven hundreds of miles for the specialized care we will provide. We will continue to offer our PTSD-Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program on the DVAMC Campus until it can be relocated to its new home at RMR.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL: BY THE NUMBERS
The Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center is a welcome step forward in meeting the increased health care needs of today’s Veteran population. This new facility replaces the Denver facility of 670,000 square feet with a new state of the art campus of approximately 1.2 million square feet on 31 acres, providing many new services to Veterans. Our 2,705 employees will receive more than 40,000 hours of training to prepare for their new workspaces. Leading edge technology is designed into every aspect of the new campus, bringing Veterans high quality health care well into the 21st century. Guiding principles for the new campus include patient safety, improving the Veteran’s health care experience, promoting the family’s role in care delivery, and protecting our environment through green design.
By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, ECHCS had served:
• 94,742 unique patients
• 9,649 of those were female Veterans
• 1,033,931 total outpatient visits
We expect these numbers to grow each year, as there has been a steady increase in the Veteran population in the Denver metro, Colorado Springs and surrounding areas in recent years.
The new Aurora, Colorado location is ideally located on the southeast corner of the former Fitzsimons Army base just off Interstate 225, immediately west of RTD’s light rail station and neighboring Children’s Hospital and University of Colorado Anschutz Health Care Campus. There are several restrooms and water fountains down the length of the concourse. The Patriot Brew coffee shop is located near the Patient Parking Garage and North entrance for your convenience. The cafeteria is at the other end of the concourse near the South and Colfax entrances, and there is a new, larger Patriot Store in between. There are also several seating areas along the concourse for your comfort. As always, Patient Transport is available to meet your mobility needs.
DATES TO KNOW & SHARE
July 21, 2018—Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. This will be a celebration for you, our Veterans, and will begin at 10 a.m. at 1700 N. Wheeling Street, Aurora, Colorado 80045. You are cordially invited to the ceremony! Please see the invitation below.
July 27, 2018—We are moving many outpatient services from the Denver VA Medical Center to the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. Please be sure to check your appointment letters to verify where your appointment is scheduled!
August 4, 2018—We are moving any remaining inpatient Veterans to their new facility. As of 7:00 a.m. that day, the Emergency Department at the Denver VA Medical Center is closed for business. The Emergency Department at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center will open at 7:00 a.m. August 4, 2018.
DID YOU KNOW?
The main phone numbers for RMR will be the same as the Denver VAMC:
Local: (303) 399-8020
Toll free: (888) 336-8262
Some Foundational Services will remain at the Denver VAMC until they can be moved to their new homes. These Services include:
- PTSD Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program
- Some Primary Care and support services
- Some Outpatient Mental Health Services