Colorado Springs is doing what hundreds of cities across America are doing – trying to come up with either cost savings or revenue sources. One of the discussions that has begun here is the potential sale of the city owned Memorial Hospital system. A citizens committee will be discussing this over the next few months, and it is very unclear with this will develop any ‘traction’ or not, but I thought it warranted some discussion here.
The last several years have seen a boom in the Colorado Springs health care infrastructure. Colorado Springs has 2 main civilian hospital systems. The first, the Penrose – St Francis system operates 2 large hospitals, ‘Penrose Main’ in the Old North End, and the brand new St Francis Medical Center at Powers and Woodmen. The other system is the city owned Memorial, with 2 major facilities. Memorial Central is next to the Olympic Training Center, near Boulder and Union. The other is the new Briargate Campus, at Union and Briargate Parkway.
Living in Colorado Springs with an aging mother-in-law on dialysis, we have experienced a lot of the medical system here. We’ve had friends whose lives have been saved in both systems, grandkids born in both systems, and spent hours in the emergency rooms of both systems. Overall I think our family consensus has been that health care is quite good here. If the Memorial system is sold, it would undoubtedly be to a company that will run it professionally, and standards of care will likely not change.
The City of Colorado Springs is a little unique to cities I’ve lived in previously in California and Michigan, in that they own both a hospital system as well as the public utilities. We’ve been really pleased with how that has worked on both counts. My personal hope is that the current budget crunch doesn’t cause our local politicians and anti-tax activists to take a short term approach, and sell irreplaceable assets for short term gain.
We were below zero overnight, but it looks like the sun will do us some good and get us back up to normal in a day or 2. Upper 40’s and even low 50’s on the horizon!
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