Colorado Springs officials and those with the University of Colorado Health System signed a lease Monday for city-owned Memorial Health System.
The lease signing paves the way for an Aug. 28 special election for voters to decide whether to lease a hospital the city has owned since the 1940s. If the measure passes, UCH would take control on Oct. 1.
Here's UCH's release:
Today the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) and the City of Colorado Springs signed the lease for Memorial Health System (MHS), the last step before voters mark their ballots in an August 28th mail-in election.
Signing the lease now gives voters the assurance that both UCHealth and the city are committed to this important partnership, and it moves the process along as UCHealth looks to open the doors on a new chapter at MHS starting October first.
"This is an exciting time, and I think my entire team is excited," said Bruce Schroffel, CEO of University of Colorado Health. "I do spend a good part of my life down here now, and I'll continue to spend time with Memorial Hospital's staff and physicians as we move forward toward this important transition."
"I think this is the most significant development in health care in our state," said Rulon Stacey, president of University of Colorado Health. "We will be the largest health care system in the state, and we're going to develop the very best health care in the country right here in Colorado."
Even as they signed the lease, leaders from both UCHealth and the city said their thoughts remain with the firefighters and residents who have been incredibly impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire, the most destructive wildfire in our state's history.
"For the next week, the city's thoughts and prayers will be focused on the Mountain Shadows neighborhood and all our residents there, but after that I think we'll turn more of our focus to the election and what this lease will mean to our city," said Colorado Springs City Attorney Chris Melcher.
Last week, University of Colorado Health and Children's Hospital Colorado announced that each organization was giving $25,000 to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross to help firefighters and residents. Supplies and staff are also ready to help MHS should the hospital need assistance.
"Many of our staff and patients are directly affected by these serious and frightening Colorado wildfires," said UCHealth CEO Bruce Schroffel. "Whether the fires are burning in Fort Collins, Colorado Springs or anywhere else along the Front Range, we consider this our community, and the University of Colorado Health is honored to help in any way possible."