5:00am

Thu March 29, 2012
Business

Sisters of Charity to Move Headquarters to Colorado

A Kansas-based hospital system is moving its corporate headquarters to Colorado, raising the state’s profile in the health-care industry. KUNC’s Brian Larson spoke with Boulder County Business Report Publisher Chris Wood about the hundreds of new jobs coming to Broomfield.

Larson: The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, or SCL, announced this week that it will be coming to Denver. I must admit Chris that I haven’t heard of SCL before you were telling me that they already have a long history here in Colorado.

Wood: Brian, SCL is a nonprofit Catholic health system that started in Leavenworth, Kansas, way back in 1864. The group operates four hospitals in the state, including Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Exempla Saint Joseph in Denver, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge and Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Grand Junction. Overall, SCL is a $2.7 billion health system that employs 15,000 people, including 8,000 in Colorado.

Larson: So what impact will this pending move have on Broomfield?

Wood: Denver itself will gain about 150 to 200 jobs, at the new SCL headquarters that will be located in the Diamond Hill business park near downtown, but the balance of SCL’s Colorado employment will be in Broomfield, up to about 550 jobs over time. SCL will occupy space on the Oracle campus in the Interlocken business park on U.S. Highway 36.

Larson: Are these healthcare related jobs – doctors and nurses?

Wood: No, these will be mainly administrative and information-systems jobs, with some workers relocating from Kansas and others hired locally. But any time we see 750 jobs coming into the state, it’s significant.

Larson: Chris,it’s probably smart to not ask the “why” question when it’s already done deal – but I will anyway. Why is SCL moving its headquarters to Colorado?

Wood: The 8,000 people currently employed in the state by SCL offers a good hint.SCL’s four Colorado hospitals account for 52 percent of the company’s revenues, and company officials say the move will make it easier to administer the company. Denver International Airport also will facilitate travel to the three other states where the company has operations.

Larson: Incentives always seem to be a part of any big economic-development announcement. I’m sure that’s the case here too?

Wood: Incentives were offered, to the tune of about $1.8 million dollars. That includes job-creation funds from Denver, Broomfield and the state. Most of those dollars will be delivered as jobs are created.

Larson: Early on you mentioned that this move would probably create more than 700 jobs between Denver and Broomfield. What overall impact will it have on the state’s economy and specifically the Boulder Valley?

Wood: Economic-development officials say that this move really solidifies Denver and Colorado’s position as a center for the health-care industry, and as a center for corporate headquarters. Beyond that, this sizeable number of jobs will benefit the retail, hospitality and real estate industries. Not only are sizable chunks of commercial office space being absorbed, but this will give a shot in the arm to the housing market as well. Additionally, SCL has made no secret of its goals of acquiring other hospitals. The company was in the running for management of Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs – a management contract that eventually went to University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley Health System. But SCL is definitely in the game, and we might see it attempt other acquisitions or management contracts in the future.

Larson: Chris Wood is the publisher of the Boulder County Business Report.

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