expanding a hospital

A hospital struggling with needs beyond its resources.............

A rural hospital in Colorado, serving 50,000 people and over 100 miles from a major metropolitan area, discovered that the incidence of cancer in their county alone was driving the need for basic cancer treatment services. As the only community hospital in their area serving five counties, the need for a radiation and chemotherapy treatment center was becoming clear. However, the hospital did not have the resources to take on a $25 million venture with no guaranteed short-term return, and a new service line takes many years to just break-even. In addition, the hospital had no way to prioritize this new addition in with many other projects that were starting to surface.

Although a seasoned hospital CEO, Jim knew he needed some help with this project, both from planning as well as implementation. His challenges were many:  ranging from selling his board to prioritize and approve this undertaking; to convincing a contentious anti-growth city government to approve the expansion; and most of all, where to find the money to build and equip the new facility. Jim knew he needed to create a plan to rally everyone’s best efforts to make this happen.

In his career in numerous other hospitals, Jim had tried to conduct strategic planning using internal resources. Unfortunately, these resulted in minimal commitment from Board Members, and rote dedication from his staff. In addition, he had never undertaken anything as ambitious as building the cancer center that was envisioned. What to do next?


Through a series of pre-engagement meetings, Steve helped Jim untangle the knot of requirements and prioritize the necessary steps to get things going. Steve then introduced Jim to an architecture firm with many years in the health care design world to help the hospital put together a master facilities plan. Jim also decided to get Steve’s help with strategic planning and resource development.


In 2002, the new cancer center was dedicated and opened in the midst of a strong spring downpour that, despite the torrents of rain and cold temperatures, could not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. Not only had the hospital built the new 35,000 square foot facility, but it was completely funded through philanthropy – the hospital never borrowed a dime for its construction. In addition, the hospital now had a strategic and master facilities plan for years to come.