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Vail Valley Medical Center Submits Master Facility Plan Application

Doris Kircnher | Vail Valley Medical Center

Vail Valley Medical Center has been a cornerstone of this community for nearly 50 years and in that time we've grown into one of the world's most advanced mountain hospitals.  While the care and services at VVMC are outstanding the infrastructure is due for modernization. Fortunately the hospital is in a position to address this opportunity and we are at the brink of building a state-of-the-art medical campus to serve our community and guests for years to come.

As president and CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center it is my privilege to share the news of our recent submittal of a Master Facility Plan application (pdf) to the Town of Vail. Once approved this plan will guide us in remodeling and building Vail's hospital of the future. We are scheduled to break ground in the summer of 2015.

Over the past two years we've worked closely with hospital staff and our medical partners to map out a Master Facility Plan that will make Vail a center of health and wellness. We've also worked closely with Town of Vail staff community stakeholders and neighbors. Through public meetings and open house events we've listened to valuable input regarding road access parking emergency helicopter transport our aging population and cost of care amongst other important topics.  

As a nonprofit community hospital we are able to consider our community's needs and respond responsibly. This is a benefit that makes us unique in today's healthcare environment. As a nonprofit fiduciary funds don't go to shareholders big bonuses or a corporate office in another city or state. Our profits stay local and are reinvested in the community through better services new physicians state-of-the-art equipment improved access healthcare jobs community outreach and charity care.

In recent years your collective input has led to better access at new urgent care facilities in Gypsum and Avon. We listened to your ideas and built a world-class surgery center more conveniently located in Edwards. Because of you we offer top-of-the-line cancer care at Shaw Regional Cancer Center using a new Image Guided Linear Accelerator and 3D Mammography. Most recently your input led to new specialties like Endocrinology and Internal Medicine as well as advances in cardiology care. In fact right now we're working on a new Cardiac Catheterization Lab which will open in early 2015 – no longer will you have to travel out of the Valley in critical moments to receive life-saving cardiac care.  

While cost of care is a shared concern Vail Valley Medical Center continually looks for ways to improve operational efficiencies and collaborate with insurance providers to lower your costs. Our new medical campus will not increase your cost of care.

Our mission is to provide superior health services with compassion and exceptional outcomes and the Master Facility Plan will support our mission in countless ways. Some noticeable improvements will include increasing parking (including covered parking) moving emergency traffic off West Meadow Drive to create a safer pedestrian environment and making emergency care more convenient. Additionally the list of objectives for the Master Facility Plan includes:

  • Relocate main entrance and visitor/outpatient traffic/parking to South Frontage Road
  • Relocate Emergency Department and ambulance traffic to South Frontage Road ambulance and walk-in to be separated
  • Locate helipad with sensitivity to neighbors and direct internal connection to new Emergency Department
  • Expand parking to better serve patients visitors and staff (including covered parking)
  • Accommodate patients in the most appropriate setting (and with privacy)
  • Optimize access and way-finding for patients and visitors
  • Improve operational efficiencies through proper sizing adjacencies
  • Modify service vehicle access to a concealed loading zone
  • Accommodate appropriate medical office space on campus
  • Create a flexible framework to accommodate future changes

The Master Facility Plan is truly a product of everything we've learned combined with a flexible infrastructure to handle a shifting and unpredictable future. Over the next year as the plan is vetted things may change. Patient care will be uninterrupted during construction but we may experience some inconveniences. We are committed to keeping the community informed of our progress and invite you to be a part of milestones along the way.

In 2019 at the culmination of the construction process we will celebrate as a community thankful for the vision hard work and generous support of many. We will continue to play an important role in the lives of our patients who need everything from critical care to annual wellness visits to assistance in welcoming new babies to the Valley.  

This is an exciting time in the history of Vail Valley Medical Center and I encourage you to join us as we embark on the future of Vail's hospital. Stay tuned to our progress by visiting our project webpage at and join our mailing list by emailing Thank you for your support!

Doris Kirchner
President & CEO Vail Valley Medical Center