Parkview History: How Our Story Began

Parkview Hospital opened its doors March 17, 1923, in the Wells residence at Seventeenth Street and Grand Avenue. The 350-bed facility that exists today still occupies a portion of that property.

Parkview Hospital was founded in 1923 through the efforts of six prominent physicians in the Pueblo community who foresaw the need for a hospital on the north side of town following Pueblo’s 1921 Great Flood.

No longer would floods like the 1921 disaster leave a large portion of the community isolated from acute care. Many north side flood victims needing hospitalization died, because they were unable to cross the swollen rivers to reach what were then the city’s only two hospitals, St. Mary’s and Corwin, both on Pueblo’s south side.

The group of Pueblo physicians, supported by community leaders, organized a new hospital called Parkview. The doctors, H.A. Black, W.T.H. Baker, Guy Hopkins, Fritz Lasser, Carl Maynard and George Myers, were instrumental in establishing the new facility.
Their primary purpose was to establish a hospital on the north side of Pueblo and thereby provide a healthcare facility in which they could practice medicine.

Parkview Hospital began with just eight beds, and was originally operated by the Parkview Hospital Association in a formerly private home. But, in 1926, construction of the original building of the present hospital was completed on the same site. The building, which could accommodate 23 patients, was a three-story, U-shaped structure, designed to provide for construction of additional wings, such as the wing built four years later, adjacent to the 1926 structure. At that time, a two-story nurse’s residence was also added, increasing the patient capacity to 150 beds.

In 1948, Parkview Hospital became part of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and the Hospital’s name was changed to Parkview Episcopal Hospital. The Hospital facility continued to expand the size and scope of its services and in 1950 the west wing was added.

A 72-bed, three-story structure, designed to permit additional stories in future years was completed in 1961. This addition involved expanding the radiological facilities, adding five new surgical suites, and installing a cardiovascular-pulmonary lab.

Within a month of opening, the new medical-surgical wing was at full capacity. In order to accommodate the growing patient load, a new addition of three stories and a solarium, built atop the 1961 structure, was completed in 1966.

Parkview History 1970s

The North Annex, a four-story, 92-bed structure, was completed in 1970. An administration area was located on the first floor, two 46-bed wards on the next two floors and a cafeteria on the fourth floor. A four-bed Neurological Intensive Care Unit was opened in conjunction with the purchase of a Computer Axial Tomography (CAT) Whole Body Scanner.

Parkview History 1980s

During the 1980s Parkview Episcopal Medical Center opened a Birthing Unit, renovated the Psychiatric Services Department, acquired a Neuro-surgical microscope, activated a Lifeline Emergency System, opened a Chemical Dependency Unit, added a Homecare Department, developed a Pace Maker Clinic, and acquired a state-of-the-art fourth-generation CAT Scanner.

As of October 6, 1983, Parkview was approved for a Certificate of Need application by the Colorado Department of Health to modernize and expand the existing hospital. Planning for this project resulted in five major areas for renovation, modernization, or new construction.

The elimination of all three, four, and five-bed wards through the construction of private and semi-private rooms was accomplished through the construction of a new 104-bed tower adjacent to the hospital. The change did not result in adding new beds.

The project also increased space for ancillary diagnostic and treatment services and allowed mental health services to be consolidated in the North Annex. An upgrade of the three critical care units, the Emergency Department, Surgery, and Pathology were included in this project. Clinical support services were relocated to assure closer proximity to the patients.

In 1986, Parkview embraced the Continuous Quality Improvement philosophy promoted by W. Edwards Deming. The medical center has been recognized nationally on many occasions for its vision and leadership in being one of the first hospitals to take on this customer-focused process. As a result of their CQI success, visits have been made by medical professionals from UCLA, Baylor University and many other healthcare educators and providers. The improvement efforts have increased patient care and reduced costs making the hospital more effective and efficient.

Parkview History 1990s

In 1990, a three-phase construction plan was initiated. Phase I was completed that same year and included the addition of a three-floor Same Day Surgery Wing. Phase II, completed in 1991 included renovations to the Main Entrance Lobby, Gift Shoppe, Admissions, Rehabilitation, Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Post Partum and the Surgery department adding two operating rooms.

In 1995 Bright Beginnings Infant and Toddler Center was built next to the Thatcher Learning Center. This center was the first of its kind to offer child care for infants six-weeks-old through the toddler years. The building was funded, in part, by a generous gift from QualMed Plans for Health. The Thatcher Foundation also was instrumental in donating a major gift to this project.

Phase III began in 1995 and included three floors added to the Same Day Surgery Wing. A state-of-the-art Oncology Unit opened in February 1996 with 17 spacious private rooms. The decor of the unit looks more like a hotel than a hospital. The Intensive Care Unit was relocated to the fourth floor in July 1996 along with a Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

In November 1996 the Thatcher School Building which once housed Accounting, Business Services, Education, Park Care and Parkview Foundation was demolished. Construction of a new three-story Medical Office Building with a three-level parking garage immediately began. The project was completed in November 1997.

A time capsule was discovered in a cornerstone in the northeast corner of the Thatcher School Building prior to demolition. A small ceremony was held to open the sealed time capsule on December 17, 1996 at Rosemount Carriage House. Items were displayed in the capsule on April 6, 1923. Articles included the Holy Bible, American Flag, Colorado Civil Government and History, The Constitutions of the United States and of Colorado, financial reports for Pueblo County, photos taken during Pueblo’s Flood of 1921, The Pueblo Star Journal and The Pueblo Chieftain, a city telephone directory, books and many other historical documents.

In March 1995 Parkview announced plans to build a new pediatric facility. Kidsville® Pediatric Unit opened October 31, 1996 with six private and one semi-private rooms. A sick nursery located behind the nurse’s station can accommodate three infants. Other features include an exam room, nutrition area and playroom. This project was funded through businesses, service organizations and individuals and was spearheaded by the Parkview Foundation. The unit was designed to ensure a friendly, fun and supportive environment. Much of the unit is interactive and provides exceptional patient care for the different needs of children aged zero through 18.

In 1997, the hospital’s name was formally changed to Parkview Medical Center.The final segment of phase III began in March 1997 with the construction of Parkview’s new Birth Center which included eight Labor Delivery Recovery & Post-Partum (LDRP) suites and a Level II Nursery.

Parkview’s new Medical Office Building officially opened November 19, 1997 directly across the street from the main lobby and emergency department entrances. The three-story structure and three-level parking facility were built at 1600 N. Grand, in between 16th and 17th streets, formerly the site of the Thatcher School. A cornerstone ceremony, officiated by Masonic Lodge of Colorado representatives, included placing a cornerstone in the Thatcher School Memory Wall along with 73-year-old items from the original Thatcher School time capsule as well as modern-day objects and documents to commemorate the new building.

The Medical Office Building connects to the hospital via Pueblo’s first "skybridge". The enclosed, glass-walled pedestrian bridge spans Grand Avenue from the new building’s third floor to the hospital’s second floor. The parking garage and the medical office building were each designed to accommodate two additional levels.

On September 18, 1998 the hospital celebrated its 75th anniversary in conjunction with Parkview Foundation’s 18th Annual Starlight Gala. Dr. Malik Hasan was presented the Life Time Achievement award for his generous contributions to Parkview Medical Center and the community. The gala raised a record $100,000 with 430 guests in attendance.

Parkview Ancillary Services purchased the Greenwood Medical Building on April 3, 1998. The building is leased to physicians. A few months later on July 7, Parkview Medical Center purchased the Scottish Rite Building. The Business Office was relocated to this site in August 1999 and a new fitness center for Parkview employees was added to the entire main floor auditorium, stage and first floor areas.

In September 1999, the 75th Anniversary Beautification Garden was completed. The Parkview Foundation donated $90,000 from 1998 Starlight Gala proceeds. The garden features a fountain and seating for patients and employees. Donors who gave $10,000 in support of the gala were recognized on a ceramic tile. Dr. Malik Hasan and Parkview Medical Center were also recognized on a plaque within the garden.

The Birth Center endured another expansion because of the great increase in number of newborn deliveries. In July 2000, the Birth Center opened four additional LDRP’s by absorbing the space that once occupied the waiting area and former roof-top on the fifth floor. The popularity of Parkview’s Birth Center continues to drive volume to all-time highs.

Parkview History 2000s

Parkview Medical Center purchased a 120,000 square foot office building, the former Southern Colorado Clinic, on Pueblo’s northwest side bordering Pueblo Boulevard and Highway 50 West. The purchase was finalized in December 2000. The building, ParkWest, is a modern design with contemporary esthetic details provides beautiful views through the large atrium windows in the spacious three level building. The building provides generous office space for physicians.

In August of 2001, the hospital administration received confirmation from the State Board of Health that Parkview Medical Center had successfully fulfilled its requirements to operate the hospital’s emergency room as a Level II Trauma Center. The new designation recognizes the involvement and training of a wide variety of medical professionals who are part of the trauma team, including psychiatric liaisons, nurses, doctors, respiratory, cardiac specialists, radiologists and pathologists. That autumn, the Stroke Center also received certification from the National Stroke Association for completion of a new program aimed at preventing strokes and stopping them in progress.

The majority of 2001 was spent on the hospital’s largest construction project. The new Boiler Plant was completed in November 2001 and is located in an attractive brick style building complimented by large arch windows at the corner of 17th Street and Grand Avenue.

A new 60,000 square foot addition on the hospital’s main campus is the new home for Cardiac Telemetry, Medical-Surgical Unit, MRI, CAT Scan, Step-Down Unit and Chiller Plant. The two-year project added 54 new beds, many of which are in private rooms. The expansion also included the Emergency Room, Special Procedures Room, and Radiology Admissions area. The project was completed in June 2002 at a cost of $20 million. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is part of the new construction. In addition, a new high-speed CT Scanner was added to improve diagnostic services for trauma and heart patients. A new angiography suite is also part of the construction with the new angiography equipment that enhances our diagnostic capabilities.

Kidville Express, Parkview’s traveling injury prevention program was introduced in early 2005. The program provides safety and health information to children and their caregivers in an educational, but fun and interactive format. The injury prevention program, which is transported in a vibrantly decorated, train themed van, includes nine stations with topics including: fire safety; water safety; fall prevention and helmet use; seatbelt and car seat safety; healthy food choices; keeping your body healthy and strong; traffic safety; home safety; "911" education. Kidsville Express provides helpful information for children ages 4-12, parents, daycare providers and educators.

Parkview Medical Center unveiled the renovated Neurotrauma Intensive Care Unit in June 2005. The $2.5 million renovation, expanded Southern Colorado’s only dedicated Neurotrauma Intensive Care Unit, from six to eleven beds and nearly tripled the square footage of the previous unit. The Neurotrauma Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Parkview is fully accredited to treat patients with major multiple trauma, brain and head injuries, spinal cord injury, as well as epilepsy and stroke.

Parkview Medical Center earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care in early 2006. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations awarded Parkview Primary Stroke Center Certification. In January of 2006 Parkview Medical Center acquired a new, state-of-the-art, CT imaging system from GE Healthcare. The LightSpeed® VCT is the first Volume Computed Tomography (VCT) system. Parkview began offering an innovative way for its physicians to obtain information they need to diagnose disease and life threatening illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and chest pain. Parkview physicians are able to capture images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second, and perform whole body trauma in ten seconds, more than twice as fast as conventional mutli-slice CT scanners.

In 2007, Parkview was awarded Total Benchmark Solution’s Best Acute Hospital Award. Parkview was the only Colorado hospital to be recognized with the award that year. That same year, Parkview Homecare was named in the top one percent of agencies in the nation by Outcome Concepts Systems. In late summer, Parkview unveiled the renovated Kidsville® Pediatric Unit that featured updated facades and rooms, state-of-the-art beds, flat screen televisions, DVD players and of course interactive elements to make children feel right at home. Parkview joined "Spirit of Women," a national network of more than 120 premier hospitals and health systems throughout the nation dedicated to advancing the cause of women’s healthcare in September 2007. The end of 2007 marked a very busy time for the medical center, two groundbreakings were held in one day. The first was for a 30,000 square-foot, two-story building that will sit adjacent to the current ParkWest Medical Complex and will house physician offices. The second groundbreaking was held in Pueblo West on the corner of Industrial and Purcell Blvds for a 20,000 square foot, one-story building, 24/7 emergency facility with other healthcare related services. The building was designed with future growth in mind and is set to open in late 2008.

Parkview filled a community need in 2008 by opening a special care nursery that would keep more newborn babies close to home. The Level IIb Special Care Nursery provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for infants born prematurely, infants with feeding difficulties and those with other medical issues requiring close monitoring and assessment. That same year, Parkview Homecare was named to the Homecare Elite for the 3rd consecutive year. 2008 was also a busy year for construction projects. Parkview-Pueblo West Emergency Services opened for business in November 2008. The stand alone emergency department offers the same quality care and exceptional customer service that patients experience when they walk through the door at Parkview Medical Center. Groundbreaking for a multi-million dollar expansion project on the main campus also took place in 2008.

Transition was the theme of 2009 at Parkview Medical Center. Longtime Parkview CEO, C.W. Smith announced his retirement and Mike Baxter, who was previously COO, took over the role.

Parkview became a smoke-free campus on January 1, 2010. Also in 2010, Parkview Medical Center was verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients. Parkview Medical Center is the only Level II Trauma Center in the region to hold both a Level II designation from the State of Colorado and Level II Trauma verification from the ACS. On June 15, 2010 Parkview unveiled a $31 million; 92,000 square foot expansion to the main campus on Grand Ave. The premier, 6-story tower featured a new main entrance with an expanded lobby, 54 new private patient rooms, as well as a conveniently located Gift Shoppe and Café. The new expansion also included space to add additional private rooms in the future, if the needs for healthcare in the community continue to grow.

Parkview Medical Center offers general acute healthcare and behavioral health specialty services. As a private, non-profit organization, Parkview is licensed for 350 beds and provides a full range of healthcare services including the region’s only certified and verified Level II Trauma Center as well as the region’s first certified Stroke Center. Parkview Medical Center is the leader in cardiac, women’s, emergency, and neurological services as well as behavioral health programs. As a vital healthcare source, Parkview’s service area includes Pueblo County and 14 surrounding counties, which together represent 350,000 total lives.

Parkview Medical Center is the largest non-government, nonprofit, private sector employer in Pueblo County with more than 2,500 employees and provides a skilled medical staff of over 300 physicians. The impact of our workforce triggers a strong impact on the community as Parkview’s annual payroll contributes $116.9 million to the economy.