Family Health West is gearing up to open its brand new hospital and create dozens of new jobs.
"The overwhelming response is it's time to have our hospital and it's time to have those health care services in the community," said Dennis Ficklin, CEO of Family Health West.
Ficklin says for years, his organization has been providing important services for the Lower Valley community. But as Fruita has boomed, it's been harder to keep up.
"As we look at not only the growth, but the makeup of our community, a lot of younger families are now requiring a greater array of services," said Ficklin.
Officials say their current hospital just wasn't meeting those needs -- built in the 1950s, it's only about 10,000 square feet and services mostly older Fruita residents. They say that's why they decided to build a new 40,000 square foot hospital just up the street, hoping it would meet the needs of the entire community.
"Certainly the size of the community would speak to having those services available within the community," said Ficklin.
He says with the new space comes many new services, including a full lab, x-ray imaging center, and same day surgery program. It will also have 16 inpatient beds and a better equipped emergency department.
"I've been at Family Health West for twenty-five years and I can't think of a more exciting event," said Ficklin.
And with those new services comes a need for new workers.
"The hospital will add about thirty-five to forty-five new jobs," said Ficklin.
And it doesn't stop there -- officials say the hospital gives them more space for primary care. And they're hopeful it will also address the overwhelming need in Mesa County for primary care physicians.
"We feel and have had many conversations that physicians will be attracted to practicing in this facility and providing care," said Ficklin.
Officials say they expect to see their first patient in the new hospital by late July. After several years of hard work and months of construction, they say they can't wait to see their vision become reality.
"They determined 60 years ago, they needed a hospital...that pioneer spirit hasn't changed," said Ficklin.
Family Health West says after the new hospital opens, the old hospital will be renovated and turned into a Mesa County Health Department office. The nursing home will stay at the current location.