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A Hospital of Our Own

When you first enter the new Park City Medical Center, you may wonder if you’re in the right place. With two fireplaces in the lobby and stonework throughout, the building feels more like a hotel than a hospital. And that is exactly the intent.

Thanks to the vision of the medical center’s governing board and its ability to generate funds to cover building upgrades, the hospital provides a healing environment that helps set people at ease. According to Amy Roberts, public relations director, “Studies have shown that patients exposed to art, natural light and views heal faster than in a typical, sterile hospital environment.”

The vaulted ceilings, ample windows and local artwork provide a sense of calm in the midst of uncertainty. Twenty-six private, in-patient “guest” rooms with mountain views and room service from a physician-approved menu provide a resort-like experience for patients. Instead of bland hospital food, Executive Chef Jason Kieffer uses a natural foods approach that includes fresh, local, organic ingredients wherever possible. In addition to room service, he also prepares menu items for The Silver King Café located on the first floor.

The café offers families á la carte fare and comfort food from a wood-fired pizza oven and espresso bar. The café is light and airy and a south-facing patio allows patrons to feel the warmth of the sun while breathing in fresh mountain air.

The 146,000-square-foot facility is part of a new medical campus at Quinn’s Junction. According to Chief Executive Officer Rob Allen, “The focus is to be the community hospital for the people in Park City and Summit County.” The medical center shares the campus with a new County Health Department building, The People’s Health Clinic and the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence.

Additional medical office space is slated for the future. A result of eight years of planning by the Summit Community Healthcare Foundation, the $88-million hospital includes state-of-the-art equipment. Digital imaging using CT and MRI technology eliminates the need for the physical transport of films. Communication is paperless with all patient records being accessed via computer.

Specialized orthopedic equipment housed in two dedicated operating rooms is available for the inevitable injuries associated with mountain living. “We recognize that people in Summit County live very active lives — and that can lead to a greater number of sports-related injuries,” says Allen. World-renowned orthopedic surgeons, including Drs. Eric and Karen Heiden, will be affiliated with the hospital, along with the Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf Clinic, which will relocate from its current space.

An extensive sports and physical therapy facility staffed by TOSH (The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital) provides on-site rehabilitation. Highly skilled therapists, known for excellence in their respective fields, will have access to private treatment rooms, a state-of-the art weight and exercise room and a full kitchen for occupational therapy. A “Swim Ex” pool with a treadmill on the bottom provides non-weight bearing rehabilitation so that patients can begin therapy sooner.

The rehabilitation area also includes a pathophysiology lab which provides sport-specific fitness testing by Dr. Max Testa. The results of the tests help professional and amateur athletes achieve optimal performance levels, even if they have never been injured.

In addition to premier orthopedic services, the hospital offers a fully staffed emergency department which operates 24/7. Gone are the nervous car rides down the canyon to Salt Lake City, thanks to 15 emergency exam rooms. The four trauma bays are equipped with radiant heat warmers to treat patients with cold-related injuries, such as avalanche victims.

An onsite helipad allows rapid transport of stabilized patients requiring more acute care to the Salt Lake valley via an eight-minute Life Flight ride.

Just steps away from the ER, the radiology department features digital X-rays, MRI and CT scans. The Women’s Center also offers digital mammography and 3D ultrasound. Parents-to-be can watch the first pictures of their baby on a wall-mounted flat screen monitor. Once the new arrivals make their debut, new mothers stay in the same “guest” room for labor, delivery and recovery.

The medical center also offers family and internal medicine services, cardiac care and pediatrics. This means a much needed influx of jobs into Summit County. Fully staffed, the hospital will employ more than 200 people, not including 100+ affiliated physicians.

Of course, such a large facility needs to be eco-friendly both inside and out. The natural stone on the building’s exterior was quarried directly from Browns Canyon. Recycled carpet, ceiling tile and steel were used in construction and five percent of the parking is designated for low-emission, fuel efficient vehicles. Most importantly, 80 percent of the land owned by the medical center will remain dedicated open space.

Despite being funded largely by Intermountain Healthcare, the hospital will accept other insurance as well. “We have been actively working with the insurance companies. Our goal is to offer access to everyone locally, and the providers have been very receptive,” says Allen.

Liz Yokubison is a freelance writer who is grateful to have a hospital close to home. As mother to 10-year-old twins, she has rushed down the canyon for everything from concussions to appendectomies.

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