New Centennial medical facility to offer option for patients needing rehab

       A new type of medical facility in the Pikes Peak region is being built on the Westside.
       The Center at Centennial, located north of the King Soopers on Centennial Boulevard, will be a three-story, 80-bed facility where patients going through what is known as “sub-acute” rehabilitation will be able to stay while they recover.
       The center will be for people who might have had a hip or knee replacement and who are “too healthy for a hospital, but not ready to go home,” explained Dr. Alexander Senkoff, leader of the effort. He got the idea based on his own experience as a physician providing sub-acute care. “I think we're being proactive for health care in Colorado Springs,” he explained.
       Hospitals are not ideal for rehabbing, on top of which Medicare and health insurance don't cover extended hospital stays. As a result, such patients wind up staying in nursing homes. Such tenancy and treatment are covered by health plans, but homes tend not to be as modern or well-equipped as many doctors would like, Senkoff said.
       On top of that, he noted, such a setting does not help patients' morale. “People will say, 'I'm too young to be in a nursing home,'” he said.
       The goal of the Center at Centennial will be to offer a more appealing setting, with private rooms, quality furnishings and “five-star” food, Senkoff pledged. The maximum stay will be 100 days, but he predicted the average will be four to six weeks.
       A demographic study confirmed his belief that a rehabilitation center would work. Senkoff said the study showed that at a given time 200 to 250 people in El Paso County are getting sub-acute care. “If we could capture a fraction of that, we could succeed,” he said.
       The center's operations are owned by 170 area physicians who invested in the plan. The real estate portion is owned by physicians and other investors, he said.
       The business plan was put together under the leadership of Monte Murdock, a Colorado Springs public accountant who has worked on large medical projects previously. “I'm excited about it,” he said, noting that another reason for optimism is that - in a total coincidence - a compatible, non-competing osteopathic medical facility is being proposed on the property just south of Center at Centennial. And, a third medical office nearby is reportedly in the prelimiinary planning stages.
       An unmistakeable geographical draw is Colorado Springs Health Partners' plans for a major medical campus nearby - just south of Fillmore Street off Centennial. “It appears the whole area is developing nicely,” Murdock said.
       Completion of the Center at Centennial is anticipated in June of 2007, according to project manager/architect Rob Seever of Keystone Associates. He said the design will be similar, though not a carbon copy of, the “lodge-style” building design of the Centennial King Soopers. The idea is to have a building that appeals to patients - more like a hotel than a hospital. Even the nurse stations on each floor will blend in with that theme, Seever said.
       The three stories will have an overall size of 68,043 square feet on 3.67 acres. Utilities are being extended from the Grand View Marketplace shopping center which includes King Soopers. Access will be from Centennial onto a small private road that will be built parallel to the boulevard, plans show.
       The current, partial dirt berm along Centennial - a carryover from excavation activities at the site some years ago - will be taken down, Seever said.

Westside Pioneer article