UCHealth operates Colorado Springs' Memorial Hospital under 40-year, $1.8 billion lease

Mayor says deal will improve quality of healthcare

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The city of Colorado Springs on Monday completed a 40-year, $1.8 billion lease agreement in which the city's Memorial Health System will be operated by the University of Colorado Health.

Calling it "an historic day for our city," Mayor Steve Bach said the partnership will provide the region with "increased quality of healthcare for our community as well as in the economic benefits that future generations will enjoy from a branch medical campus, advances in healthcare technology and new jobs" at the renamed Memorial Hospital-University of Colorado Health.

The plan is to someday have a branch of the CU School of Medicine at the university's Colorado Springs campus.

Under the lease agreement, UCHealth made a $259 million "up front" payment to the city. The money will be used by a new City Healthcare Foundation to promote community health care programs.

Colorado Springs voters on Aug. 28 approved the agreement, which will bring about $1.8 billion to the city over time, UCHealth said in a news release. The agreement marks the first change in governance for Memorial Hospital since it was acquired by the city in 1943

As of Monday, more than 4,000 employees shifted from working for the city hospital system to UCHealth in the same positions and with the same compensation, the city said.