In-de-fat-i-ga-ble -- as in unflagging -- that's Utah's healthcare industry, which has averaged approximately 4 percent employment growth over the past 15 years, despite two recessions.
Now, a new hospital under construction in Draper will add to employment growth in the industry, while residents there and in surrounding communities will enjoy easier access to quality healthcare services come the fall of 2013, when MountainStar Healthcare completes its new 30-bed, 100,000 square-foot hospital on the MountainStar Lone Peak Medical Campus.
Officials from MountainStar say the new hospital will bring much-needed inpatient services to South Valley communities, especially in the areas of obstetric care and surgery services. The hospital will also create much-needed jobs -- approximately 300 of them -- as MountainStar expands its existing outpatient diagnostic services to better serve local patients.
Draper Mayor Darrell H. Smith says his city has achieved some major milestones and historical events over the past few years, welcoming many new and exciting businesses and service providers to accommodate the growing population, and the ground breaking for MountainStar's Lone Peak Hospital on April 25 was another historical event for the community.
"The emergency facility was built two years ago and has been a valuable asset to the citizens of Draper. I am sure many of our residents have had reason to take advantage of their services already. The emergency facility served more than 10,000 patients last year. We are pleased to see the new hospital being constructed and look forward to the contribution it will make to the community of Draper," he says.
Having attended the groundbreaking event, Rod L. Betit, president & CEO of the Utah Hospital Association, says he can speak first hand to the Draper community's enthusiasm for this project both from an economic development standpoint and from the improved health care access Draper residents will enjoy.
Further, he explains that Mountain Star's decision to a build a new hospital in Draper during this uncertain period speaks mountains to the network's commitment to the residents of Draper. "This is a time of great uncertainty for hospitals throughout the country, brought on by the Accountable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will reduce Medicare support to hospitals in Utah, making operating margins even tighter than they currently are," he says.
Details of the facility, including service offerings and management team are yet to be available; however, the new hospital is expected to be a boon to economic development.
"Hospitals seem to anchor local healthcare in a fashion similar to big box stores anchoring retail developments," says EDCUtah President &CEO Jeff Edwards. "Utah hospitals directly and indirectly support services such as pharmacies, physician offices, primary care clinics, urgent care facilities and outpatient centers. The healthcare industry has a significant role in economic development, from its role as an engine of job creation to its role in supporting a healthy workforce, to its role in keeping healthcare costs affordable. The new Lone Peak Hospital will be important to all three of these areas."
The healthcare industry is indeed a bellwether of the Utah economy, having grown through both of the recessions of the past decade, largely driven by continuous growth of the local population, which is one of the state's ongoing economic stimuli.
DWS Economist Lecia Parks Langston says Utah hospitals accounted for approximately 32,625 jobs in 2011, while ambulatory services (doctor's offices, outpatient services, dentist, etc.) accounted for 51,133 jobs. In 2011, the state's hospital-related employment grew 1.9 percent while ambulatory care-related employment grew by 3.4 percent. Employment growth across all sectors was 2.3 percent for the same period, while the national average was 1.1 percent, according to Langston.
Edwards says Utah residents have access to some of the best healthcare providers and healthcare networks in the nation. In fact, the MountainStar Healthcare network is actually one of several hospital networks serving the state along with a variety of community hospitals.
In addition to the Lone Peak Medical Campus, the MountainStar Healthcare network in Utah includes St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City, Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful, Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, Mountain View Hospital in Payson, Ogden Regional Medical Center, Brigham City Community Hospital and a growing number of outpatient physician, surgical and imaging centers. St. Mark's Hospital was ranked one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation. MountainStar Healthcare is a division of Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).
Intermountain Healthcare is the largest healthcare provider in the state. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, the non-profit healthcare system employs approximately 32,000 people. The organization operates approximately 22 hospitals in Utah along with numerous clinics and urgent care facilities in communities across the state. During the past 12 years, Intermountain Healthcare has ranked No. 1 in the nation five times among integrated healthcare systems for its efficiency, communication, cost and quality of care.
IASIS Healthcare, located in Franklin, Tennessee, also serves the Utah market with four hospitals: Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, Jordan Valley Medical Center, Pioneer Valley Hospital and Davis Hospital and Medical Center. IASIS is a leading provider of medium-sized acute care hospitals in high-growth urban and suburban markets.
University Hospital & Clinics
University Hospital in Salt Lake City, which opened its doors in 1965, has grown into an extensive University of Utah healthcare system, which relies on more than 1,100 board-certified physicians who staff four University hospitals (University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University Orthopaedic Center, and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute); 10 community clinics; and several specialty centers including the John A. Moran Eye Center, the Cardiovascular Center, the Clinical Neurosciences Center, and the Utah Diabetes Center.
University of Utah Health Care is consistently ranked among US News & World Report's Best Hospitals, and its academic partners at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health are internationally regarded research and teaching institutions.
Back to the Lone Peak Hospital, Earl Swensson Associates designed the new hospital and Layton Construction Company is building the facility. MountainStar is also partnering with a third-party developer to bring another medical office building to the campus. The hospital is actually the second component of a phased-in construction plan developed by MountainStar for the Lone Peak Medical Campus. The initial phase featured the Lone Peak Emergency Center, the first satellite ED in Utah, which opened its doors in May 2010. The medical campus also features onsite diagnostic services 24/7 for ED patients and outpatients, as well as a medical office building that houses a mix of primary care and specialty physicians.
Veteran healthcare executive Mark Meadows will serve as chief executive officer for Lone Peak Hospital. He has been instrumental in the development of the Lone Peak Medical Campus since MountainStar first acquired the 40-acre property. Meadows has served as the vice president of development at MountainStar for more than seven years. Prior to that, he was the chief operating officer at St. Mark's Hospital and its administrative director of business development for a total of nine years. Further, he has held leadership positions in the MountainStar network since 1982. Before launching his career, he earned degrees in business and healthcare administration as well as nursing.
"Building a smaller, more efficient hospital in the growing Draper area is another good example of smart growth," explains Meadows. "This facility will meet but not exceed the current demand for local inpatient services. Lone Peak Hospital is the right size for this thriving community at this point in time, and there is room to grow as the demand for primary and specialty care increases."