Denver Health traces its history back to the old Denver General Hospital, which was established nearly 150 years ago. But today’s Denver Health isn’t your grandfather’s Denver General. With an integrated approach to patient care, a staff composed of top-flight physicians and dedicated support personnel, and the latest and best technology housed in state-of-the-art facilities, Denver Health is recognized as a pre-eminent, community-based, integrated health system and serves as a model for similar systems throughout the United States.
No wonder that Gov. Bill Ritter went there in March 2010 after he suffered six rib fractures, a broken sternum and collarbone, a punctured lung and other injuries in a bicycle accident
“I was really fortunate that it was Denver Health that was my destination after the bike accident,” Ritter said. “I got this phenomenal health care from Denver Health.My physician who was in charge of my care was Dr. Carl Barnett, a fantastic physician. He has both great skills as a physician but also a great manner. I guess I’m not the everyday patient, but I felt very much like all the other people around me were being treated as well as I was being treated. I was so impressed with the care there that I now have my primary care physician treating me out of Denver Health.”
High-quality, integrated care From its roots in Denver General, Denver Health has grown into a comprehensive network that includes community-based primary care clinics and school-based clinics; the Denver Health Medical Center, which houses the region’s only academic Level 1 Trauma Center; the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center; the Public Health Department; and adult and pediatric urgent care centers; and a number of specialty clinics.
“We are by definition a public safety net: Our mission is to care for everyone, regardless of ability to pay,” says Dr. Phil Mehler, Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer. But that commitment goes further: to provide the highest quality of care. “We strive for the best and use our mission to exhort us to do better. Our model is Level One Care for All.”
Integrated care means that Denver Health provides acute hospital and emergency care, combined with public and community health services to deliver preventive, primary and acute care. Integrated care promotes continuity of care for every patient and assures that health care is delivered in the most efficient, cost-effective setting.
“If we are going to transform health care, we must get to integrative models,” says Dr. Patricia Gabow, Chief Executive Officer of Denver Health. “That is the only way you can get patients to the right level of care at the right place and the right time. Of all the things that have made us successful, having an integrated care model is the most important.” “We’re here to be a resource for everyone,” Dr. Gabow says. “When we say ‘Level One Care for All,’ we mean that.”