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SCL Health has opened its second microhospital and plans to build two more in partnership with Emerus.

Photo courtesy of Emerus

As a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization, SCL Health, headquartered in Denver, is dedicated to providing community-based care, especially to those who are in need and vulnerable. As with health care systems everywhere, it also is cost conscious.

With that in mind, SCL Health just opened the second in a series of community health care facilities with 10 beds, also known as microhospitals, in Littleton, Colo. Despite its smaller size and footprint, the facility offers a full range of hospital-level care and services in a neighborhood setting.

The two-story, 37,080-square-foot SCL Health Community Hospital Southwest offers emergency medical care, inpatient care and a diverse range of surgical procedures in two state-of-the-art operating rooms. The facility also offers an on-site laboratory and radiology services.

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The two-story facility includes 10 patient beds, as well as laboratory and radiology services.

Photo courtesy of Emerus 

It is one of four such hospitals SCL Health is building in partnership with Emerus, The Woodlands, Texas, the nation's first and largest operator of microhospitals. Indianapolis-based commercial real estate firm Duke Realty is developing the new facilities.

In addition to Littleton, community hospitals in Aurora and Northglenn are scheduled to open later this year. The first of the group opened in Westminster in 2014.    

"SCL Health is proud of our history of providing high-quality, compassionate care for the Denver community from the city's first beginnings," says Mike Slubowski, president and CEO, SCL Health.  

"Today, we are pleased to offer our services to Southwest Denver and the Littleton area,” he says at a recent ribbon cutting marking the facility’s opening.

In an interview with H&HN Daily, Slubowski says the health system decided to build the microhospitals as a way to provide community access points for inpatient care for less money than building a full-service, acute care hospital. The smaller hospitals are preferable to urgent care centers because of the wider scope of services they offer, he adds.

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The community hospital offers emergency medical care, inpatient care and a diverse range of surgical procedures

Photo courtesy of Emerus

The new Littleton community hospital is equipped to treat emergencies including strokes, overdoses, allergic reactions, asthma and breathing problems, burns, chest pain and heart attacks, pneumonia, seizures, broken bones and more.

Slubowski sees microhospitals growing as an option for health systems serving large urban and suburban metro areas. “It definitely is a trend, among many trends occurring in health care, to create more accessible, cost-effective access points and alternative delivery models,” he says.

Emerus has expanded its presence in metropolitan areas across the country since opening its first facility 10 years ago in Tomball, Texas. Besides SCL Health, the company partners with Baylor Scott & White Health, Baptist Health System and Christus Trinity Mother Frances.

"We are honored to partner with SCL Health, which shares our vision of providing advanced health care in a community hospital where patients are valued and appreciated,” says Toby Hamilton, M.D., CEO, Emerus. “We are excited about the greatly improved access to medical services we are bringing to Denver area residents.” 

Currently operating 16 facilities, Emerus has more than 20 additional locations under development in both new and existing markets. Although the cost varies depending on the number and type of services offered, building a microhospital costs between $7 million and $30 million, according to The Advisory Board Co., a health care and education consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

SCL Health includes 10 hospitals and more than 160 physician clinics, and offers home health care, hospice, mental health care and safety net services in Colorado, Kansas and Montana.

To learn more about SCL Health, visit and read the full interview with Slubowski in H&HN Daily.