COVID Delays New Utah Hospital Debut

By Eric Althoff

SPANISH FORK, Utah—The Utah-based medical provider Intermountain Healthcare has announced that its latest hospital project, the $150 million Spanish Fork Hospital, will see its opening delayed from this fall until next spring.

On a recent news release posted on the website of Intermountain Healthcare, the medical outfit said that the covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the healthcare industry in ways that were not foreseeable when the new hospital commenced construction late last year.  Furthermore, during the initial weeks of the pandemic, the numbers of patients in the Rocky Mountains region slowed as more people stayed home to avoid exposure–which, in a domino effect, caused construction and healthcare firms to reevaluate projects in design and construction.

Secondly, Intermountain Healthcare said that its new facilities will necessarily have to reconfigured to maximize proper doctor-patient separation as well as patient-patient separation.  In a statement on Intermountain’s website, Francis Gibson, administrator of the Spanish Fork Hospital, said that while even with such reconsiderations, the “original size and scope of the hospital remains the same, which will allow us to meet the needs of the fast-growing communities of southern Utah County.”

A report in the Daily Herald said that, as of December, construction was between 60 percent and 65 percent finished.  The Herald said that the majority of construction was due to be completed by October except for a maintenance building, whose buildout would likely continue on into 2021.

When the hospital facility opens next spring, it is estimated it will host upwards of 4,000 surgeries and the births of nearly 2,000 babies per year, according to the Herald, which further reported that the coronavirus pandemic will likely not affect those projections for 2021 and beyond.

The Herald found that the hospital will offer facilities for women’s health, encompassing five labor and delivery rooms as well as other rooms for C-section care, antepartum and postpartum rooms, as well as 12 emergency department rooms and suites for gastroenterology and respiratory therapy.  There will also be onsite facilities for radiology, CT and MRI scanning.

Other services to be offered at Spanish Fork Hospital will be specialized care in such subfields as orthopedics and sports medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, psychology and counseling, neurology, urology and ENT and audiology.  Furthermore, the new hospital will have referring capabilities for larger facilities such as the nearby Utah Valley Hospital, which is located in Provo.

The Herald also reports that some of the healthcare providers at an on-site clinical facility at Spanish Fork will be part-time and others full-time.  That clinic will also provide specialty care in sports medicine and orthopedics.

HDR designed the new hospital, and Okland Construction of Tempe, Ariz., is serving as the general contractor.