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Oct 1, 2012 12:28 AM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Midnight marks Memorial Hospital transition

In less than two hours Memorial Hospital will become part of the University of Colorado Health System. It's a process that's taken years and the input of 76,000 voters to come to fruition.

An uncertain future for 4,000 employees hung in the balance while the city wrestled with plans on how to salvage Memorial Hospital from its financial sinkhole. In August 2012, an 82% majority voted in favor of leasing the hospital to UCH under promises that its transition to an academic teaching hospital would provide better services to patients. Executives said collaborating with other hospitals within the system would also lower health care costs.

Though tonight marks the new phase, officials want to remind the public that changes won't happen overnight. "You come here for care right now and you come here tomorrow and you're going to get the same quality care that you're getting, but over time there will be changes," Brian Newsome, a hospital spokesperson told News 5.

Some changes to look forward to: an electronic medical records system and a fully accredited medical school.

Hospital staff say tonight is a time to celebrate before "rolling up the sleeves and getting down to work". Executives will be walking the halls at 12:01 AM to pass out water bottles to patients and staff bearing the new hospital logo. They'll also be welcoming the first babies born into the UCH family.

 

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