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DENVER-Children’s Hospital, which will be moving its medical campus at the edge of Denver’s CBD to Fitzsimons in Aurora, plans to open a new $18 million, 17,000-sf pediatric hospital in Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in the Uptown neighborhood. The new hospital within a hospital will open in the late summer of 2007, before the Children’s move.

To be called the “Children’s Hospital at Saint Joseph Hospital,” it fulfills Children’s commitment to maintain a significant healthcare presence in downtown. Children’s currently has a request for proposals to renovate its downtown campus and expects to pick a winner by year-end.

“We are thrilled to be able to say that Children’s is staying in the neighborhood,” says Dori Biester, children’s president and CEO. The new facility will include 12 new rooms to accommodate families and emerging technology; family sleeping accommodations; individual bathrooms with showers; and Internet access for education and entertainment for children and business access for families. The new facility is being designed by H+LArchitecture.

St. Joseph has been in downtown Denver since 1873. “Children’s Hospital and Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital have had a historical presence in east Denver and have always maintained a strong commitment to the City and County of Denver,” says Elbra Wedgeworth, the City Councilwoman who represents the district. “Their presence and commitment continues and is strengthened by the Children’s Hospital at Saint Joseph hospital.”

Jeff Selberg, president and CEO of Exempla Healthcare, says the new hospital will be paid with the operating budgets from the two hospitals. Children’s will be entering into a lease for the space and the cost of the renovation will be reflected in the lease terms, he explains. He notes that the two organizations working together can complete the project much more economically than they could if they tackled it as individually.

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