Vail Health’s medical center in Dillon set to open in November

The X-ray room located within Vail Health’s new medical center in Dillon is pictured on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. The service is part of the center’s urgent care.
Photo by Michael Yearout / Michael Yearout Photography

Vail Health is staying on track and within budget as it nears the completion of its new 85,000-square-foot medical center in Dillon. Once completed, the facility will staff about 80 people and expand much-needed services for Summit County, including urgent and primary care services, ambulatory orthopedic and pain management surgeries, oncology transfusions, physical therapy and more.

When developing the $70 million project, Craig Cohn, chief real estate development officer and senior vice president for Vail Health, explained that many of the services located within the center are ones that the organization identified as the community’s biggest needs.

“As far as what’s in the building, they are a lot of expansions from services that either we’ve already been providing in Summit County, but maybe not to this level, or services that, frankly, we haven’t had the square footage or the facilities to support us adding … that maybe we were providing in Eagle County that we wanted to provide in Summit,” Cohn said.

The main level of the center houses a few different services, one of which is a Colorado Mountain Medical primary care physician’s office and a non-emergency urgent care that’ll be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This 4,000-square-foot space will also host behavioral health and pediatric services.

Director of marketing Emily Tamberino said the center’s behavioral health services were intentionally located in this part of the building as a means of reducing the stigma associated with mental health care. Tamberino said these services will focus on anxiety, depression and mood disorders.

“If you’re coming here for your primary care and you come here for your kids and you end up in urgent care now and then, this becomes a safe place that you’re familiar with,” Tamberino said. “So going to a behavioral health provider here is a little less intimidating, and no one needs to know that you’re here for behavioral health.”

Across the hall from the primary and urgent care center is a multispecialty clinic that’ll offer dermatology, cardiovascular and family medicine services, among others.

“The best way to think about specialty care is that there isn’t enough patient volume to have this level of providers here in Summit County every day or four to five days a week, but there is enough that those providers should be coming here from other markets, whether that be Eagle County or the Front Range, to provide care … a day or two a week or a day or two a month,” Cohn said.

The last unit on the main floor is the ambulatory surgery center that’ll focus on orthopedic and pain management procedures. The surgery center has 19 pre- and postoperative rooms, all of which can be seen from a nurse’s station. Cohn said based on the area’s level of recreation, it made the most sense to offer these types of surgeries within the new center.

Cohn said this is one of the organization’s “bread and butter” services and that having this facility located within the county makes it possible to offer some of the other services, such as specialty care, that can’t always be offered in rural settings.

Right now, the facility will house four operating rooms, and Cohn said the organization has pre-built two more for future use.

Those who utilize these services also have access to physical therapy services located on the bottom floor of the facility. Cohn said that for many procedures, it’s beneficial to get patients moving soon after their surgery, and once they’re done upstairs they can head down to the 3,500-square-foot physical therapy space to make their first appointment.

In addition to the physical therapy unit, the bottom floor houses a marketplace for both staff and visitors to grab refreshments. There’s also an additional 20,000 square feet of space downstairs, which Cohn said the organization will wait to develop depending on what its needs are in the future.

Oncology services and a pharmacy are located on the top floor of the building. The 8,000-square-foot oncology unit focuses on administering transfusions to patients, and Cohn said when the team was designing the building they did so around this unit, which overlooks Buffalo Mountain and the Gore Range.

“When we picked this site and when we designed this building we knew (from) day one we were going to design around this view being used for this purpose,” Cohn said. “… We’re prioritizing views for the unfortunate folks that need to be here.”

On the same floor are mammography services and an appearance center, which is where Cohn said providers and professionals will help with wigs, hats and scarves for those who might have lost their hair during treatment.

In addition to Colorado Mountain Medical, some of the partners for this facility include The Steadman Clinic, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, Shaw Cancer Center and Breast Imaging Clinic and Howard Head Sports Medicine.

Vail Health CEO Will Cook said having all of these services and providers under one roof will dramatically improve the county’s access to health care.

“Providing all of these services in Summit County not only allows people to stay close to home, it also minimizes the cost of travel, time off work, day care for families, etc.,” Cook wrote in an email.

While the project is largely on schedule, Cohn noted that supply-chain issues have caused minor delays in some aspects of the project. Though the primary and urgent care spaces are closer to being completed, the operating rooms are still under construction. Cohn said he expects the entire facility will open at once in November.