Kremmling hospital, Centura form partnership |

Kremmling hospital, Centura form partnership

KREMMLING – The Kremmling Memorial Hospital District signed an agreement with Centura Health last week, an indication that Colorado’s largest conglomeration of hospitals and health care services is steering toward a possible partnership with the hospital district on its new medical campus in Granby.

Representatives of Centura Health attended the hospital district’s July 22 meeting to show support for an agreement between the two healthcare providers.

Centura Health CEO Gary Campbell and Kremmling Memorial Hospital District CEO Bill Widener signed a memorandum of understanding, viewed as a first step toward collaboration.

The document was a culmination of several years of discussions between the two providers, according to Kremmling Hospital District Board President Kent Whitmer.

“This news of a possible affiliation with Centura might surprise some people, but it’s been a notion for years now,” he said. “We can benefit each other and the community by working together and not against each other. We are talking and working towards some sort of affiliation. We don’t know what that may look like, but we are working towards it.”

Campbell, who oversees 13,000 employees and the 6,000 doctors of Centura, outlined his company’s “2020” strategic plan at the meeting.

Centura Health, which operates the Granby Medical Center, is one of the state’s largest private employers, operating 12 hospitals, seven senior living communities and home care and hospice services.

Released in April of 2009, the plan is based on principles of building “systems of care,” of creating a health model that services “health” care, not just “sick” care, and builds on the company’s foundation, he said.

The plan promotes “physicians, hospitals and communities working together,” according to Campbell, and changes the “scope of competition” to ultimately benefit patients.

“Centura’s strategic plan is a tangible indicator that their intentions are to develop with us,” Widener said.

6320 Corporation formed

To further move forward on the project of building a $20 million, 40,000-45,000 square-foot medical center on 10 acres of land in Granby donated by Granby Ranch in 2009, the Kremmling hospital board adopted bylaws and selected members for a 6320 Corporation that will serve to secure debt to build the building.

The members officially appointed July 22 are: Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro; Manager of Cliffview Assisted Living Center Jeff Pexton; Widener; KMHD CFO Cole White; and KMHD Chief Nurse Carmen Covington.

According to CFO White, the 6320 Corporation will serve to engage new debt for the Middle Park Medical Center where a taxing entity such as the district cannot.

“It is the 6320 Corp that is assuming all the risk,” he said. “Of course there is risk tied to the fact that as a hospital district, we are entering into a long-term lease with the 6320 corp, the entity that is essentially building the building.”

But the Kremmling hospital district is not putting up any collateral (such as land, facilities or cash flow) to build the building in Granby, he said. The building is close to being financed by selling federally subsidized Build America Bonds.

White characterized the overall risk to the existing Kremmling Memorial Hospital and the district “minimal.”

“People who purchase bonds and invest into these types of capital projects have no interest in running small hospitals,” he said, “and so there is always a small amount of leeway and flexibility. But I would like to think that the probability of that happening is very small. The odds of us defaulting on those bonds are even smaller.”

“One of the main reasons for focusing on going to the east end is to preserve what we have here in Kremmling,” Whitmer said in response to concerns from constituents about whether the Kremmling Memorial Hospital can still survive after the Granby facility is built. “From what we have been told by our consultants over the past five years, this is the most viable track to preserving what we have here and to make it something really special.”

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