Park City celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the community hospital on Thursday. Food, tours and even a chance to climb into the air medical helicopter were offered. As KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher reports, it was also a chance to reunite with some of those who began planning the hospital almost 20 years ago.
In 2001, Shana Hopperstead had just moved to Park City and learned about the work being done to build a community hospital. She got involved in the Summit Community Hospital Development Foundation to help create what she calls a community gem.
“I decided I wanted to give back to the community and help the hospital come to this area, said Hopperstead. “I was a young mother and knew I wanted another kid – and I thought , wouldn’t it be nice if people could actually come and stay in Park city instead of drive down in the middle of winter to deliver their child.”
With funding from a local benefactor to pay for a feasibility study, Hopperstead became part of a collaborative group of working moms, medical providers and physicians. They created an evaluation to screen for potential hospital providers. The consensus was for Intermountain Healthcare – for a number of reasons.
“When we chose Intermountain,” Hopperstead said,” we created a very specific memorandum of understanding – because we had certain ideas that we wanted to be implemented including that anybody could use the hospital with their particular health care insurance companies, not just Intermountain’ s, and we knew it had to be a high quality facility because that’s what folks expected when they came to Park City – the Deer Valley kind of hospital that would be really a point of true excellence.”
The hospital opened 10 years ago - but the planning took place a decade before that…
“And there were a lot of naysayers but there was a small core group that wasn’t willing to give in to that knowing that this would serve the community in the future,” she said. “So, we rallied together, and we selected what we think was the right choice in terms of an Intermountain that could build and maintain a center of excellence and quality and customer focused for our community.”
Hopperstead says it was those who came after her that had the vision for creating a Wellness Center, a community education center, a community gardens, and a cafeteria with healthy options.
Lori Weston was named the CEO of Park City Hospital a year ago. She had served as the Chief Financial Officer for both the Park City and Heber hospitals for five years prior. She says they build a community hospital with community services.
“We provide general surgery, urology OB-GYN, emergency room services, cardiology – we have outpatient cardiology up here,” she said. “We also, as we move into population health, it’s about living well and staying well – so a lot of focus is going into our Live Well services – our mental health initiatives, our brain fitness, our sports performance – and not just for elite athletes but for meeting everybody where they’re at in their wellness program and helping them excel and get to their goals.”
In the last 10 years, the hospital has seen nearly 103,000 emergency room visitors – almost 30,000 babies have been born, 45,000 surgical procedures have been performed and more than 2.7 million meals have bene served in the cafeteria.
Currently, the hospital has 111 active physicians, 30 advance practice clinicians, and 581 other caregivers on staff.
The hospital has been expanded twice since it opened – the ICU opened in 2013, and in 2017 the endoscopy unit opened and the cardiology services were expanded. The hospital also opened the Blair Education Center and Live Well Center then.
And there is still room for growth. There’s room to add more specialist spaces and they will be expanding their Live Well Center and sports performance services next year.
As the Park City population ages, Weston says they’ll also ramp up their brain health and senior services.