VA schedules ribbon-cutting for Aurora's new Veterans Affairs Hospital for July 21

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 13, 2018

Veterans Affairs will start moving patients and equipment from the old Denver hospital to the new Aurora location this month.

The ribbon cutting for the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center is scheduled for July 21.

On July 27, hospital workers will ramp down on outpatient appointments and move the outpatient team. A few days later on July 31, the first outpatients will be seen at the new location.

Then teams will ramp down on surgeries and inpatients so they can move them starting on August 4.

Mental health patients will be moved first, followed by medical and surgical.

"We have 60 transition teams," hospital director Sallie Houser-Hanfelder told Denver7.

She said it had been a long journey to this point.

"We're excited we get to show the public and show our veterans their VA healthcare system," she said. 

While the new hospital is more than $1 billion over budget and opening late, Houser-Hanfelder said veterans can expect many differences.

"The majority of our rooms are private," Houser-Hanfelder said. Many veterans will have a "room to themselves, large enough for their family to stay with them. Each one has own bathroom, showers — it adds to that healing environment."

The main concourse of the hospital is large, open and airy, Houser-Hanfelder said.

"It will be a nice gathering place, unlike a lot of our waiting rooms, right now," she said.

Even though outpatient services is moving at the end of July, the emergency room will not move until Aug. 4.

"We will shut down the emergency department on Clermount at 7 a.m. on Aug. 4," Houser-Hanfelder said. "At same time, the new one will stand up in Aurora at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center."

The crown jewel of the new facility will not open for several months. The spinal cord injury unit will not open for about 180 days.