Introducing the Un-Hospital: New North Denver Health Campus Reinvents Hospital and Maternity

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Centura Health opens its new $177 million St. Anthony North Health Campus on March 3, launching a care system that leaves hospital-centric sick care behind in favor of outpatient and maternity care.

We know that only 10 to 15 percent of people’s health status can be linked to the health care services they receive. The campus aligns with larger trends of moving care outside of traditional hospital walls.

The concept of the un-hospital is being unveiled in Denver where a new health campus replaces a traditional inpatient facility, placing primary care, maternity care and wellness on an equal footing with inpatient care.

Side-by-side with the new 92-bed hospital is a neighborhood health center that offers more than 50 primary and specialty care practices. In addition, the health campus integrates outpatient surgery, pharmacy, diagnostics and preventive care, while standing as the hub of a network of regional primary care practices.

“St. Anthony North Health Campus is the future of health care,” said CEO Carole Peet. “We know that only 10 to 15 percent of people’s health status can be linked to the health care services they receive. The campus aligns with larger trends of moving care outside of traditional hospital walls, offering services and amenities that let us touch the environmental and individual behaviors that impact people’s health.”

The facility looks and feels like a Colorado resort, with natural stone, wood, floor-to-ceiling windows and an aspen grove in the lobby atrium. Community input obtained in 2012 indicated consumers wanted a hospital that did not look like a hospital and a greater focus on health and healing.

The new health campus will offer a range of amenities that provide convenience and aid wellness. These include drop-in childcare for patients; an on-site pharmacy; private discharge elevators and exits for patients; a demonstration kitchen with classes on healthy cooking; and a walking path and three gardens – community, healing and prayer. Patients can attend classes on diabetes prevention, goal setting, healthy weight and stress reduction, to name a few.

Hospitals nationwide are re-imagining the H, acknowledging that the future of stand-alone inpatient hospitals is cloudy and that hospitals must become true health systems.

In 2014, Centura Health, with 15 hospitals in Colorado and Kansas, set out to build more than 20 neighborhood health centers by the end of 2016. These freestanding clinics are connected via electronic health records to Centura hospitals and the state’s regional health information system. They offer family medicine and women’s health care services, no wait times and comprehensive preventive services such as nutrition counseling, diabetes education, weight management and mental health services.

Classes and services are tailored to the unique needs of the community. And, as busy consumers are responsible for a greater share of their health care costs than ever, the clinics offer affordable care with convenient hours.

“St. Anthony North Health Campus and its surrounding neighborhood health centers allow us to excel in outcomes, and on delivering the highest value care to patients,” said Jeff Brickman, FACHE, CEO St. Anthony Hospital and President of Centura Health's Mountains North Denver Operating Group. “We are building an integrated, electronically connected, high-value care system that provides superior quality and cost-efficiency to our communities.”

Near the health campus, Centura Health’s Dacono and Thornton Neighborhood Health Centers recently opened. Four miles away, St. Anthony North Hospital, which had served the North Denver community for 44 years, is being transformed into the 84th Avenue Neighborhood Health Center. The center will continue operating a 24-hour ER and many outpatient services. The 84th Avenue Neighborhood Health Center also will offer several important new services, including a Mental Health Crisis Unit operated in partnership with Community Reach Center. Additionally, routine dental care will be available for Medicaid patients beginning October 2015.

Exemplifying this new approach is the health campus’ birthing center, which serves patients who receive pre-natal care at any of the nearby neighborhood health centers and family medicine clinics. In it, birthing moms receive patient-directed care in a modern and supportive environment. Patients labor, deliver and recover in one of 12 spacious rooms. Family members are invited to spend the night in the room and enjoy healthy meals. Rooming in, in which the baby stays with the mother instead of in the nursery, is encouraged.

Private, hospital-based bilingual doulas are available to any patient who requests their help. With its doula program active for 15 years, this is one reason why St. Anthony North Hospital has one of the lowest cesarean section rates in Colorado. Most importantly, patients and families are treated as partners in their care.

For more in-depth information about Centura Health’s new model for neighborhood health, please visit our YouTube station at: or visit our website at


The new St. Anthony North Health Campus opens March 3 at 144th Avenue & I-25 to provide primary and specialty care, wellness management, a Birthing Center, diagnostics, surgery and 92 inpatient rooms to serve the growing north-metro communities. Continuing a 44-year tradition of serving the north-metro Denver, St. Anthony North Health Campus is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and is part of Centura Health, the region’s leading hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year

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Rachel Brand
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