Boulder Community Health to Partner with Ernest Health to
Expand Inpatient Access by 300%

Plans are moving forward to provide Boulder County residents with greatly expanded access to comprehensive and individualized rehabilitative care through the area’s first free-standing, inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Boulder Community Health is announcing that it intends to form a joint venture with Ernest Health (EH) to build a 40-bed free-standing rehabilitation hospital in Lafayette that will offer specialized rehabilitative services to patients recovering from or living with disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses or chronic medical conditions, including strokes, brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and more.

This partnership will enable BCH and EH to jointly increase inpatient capacity by 300%, providing 40 private rooms for patients rather than the 10 rooms BCH was intending to provide in the future.

The new hospital will feature private rooms, a 6,000-square foot gym and an outdoor therapeutic courtyard.

Currently, BCH operates a 14-bed rehabilitation unit at its Broadway and Balsam campus. BCH will continue to provide services at that site during the planning and construction of the new rehabilitation hospital. When that hospital opens, BCH will stop directly providing inpatient rehabilitation services.

“Boulder Community Health has a long history of providing our community with inpatient rehabilitative care that melds compassion with the highest medical quality,” says Dr. Robert Vissers, President/CEO of BCH. “Our new vision is to partner with like-minded organizations that can help us make Boulder the healthiest community in the country. After completing our due diligence, we’re pleased to announce we intend to partner with Ernest Health, a recognized health care leader, to increase much-needed rehabilitation services in our community. This partnership will take local rehabilitative care to the next level of excellence.”

Ernest Health currently operates 25 post-acute hospitals, which includes 17 rehabilitation hospitals. All of Ernest’s rehabilitation hospitals are accredited by The Joint Commission, and many have voluntarily earned The Joint Commission’s disease-specific certifications in stroke, hip fractures, brain injury, and amputation rehabilitation. BCH’s rehabilitation program is accredited by The Joint Commission and CARF, International. Foothills Hospital has disease-specific certifications in stroke and knee/hip replacement.

“We’ve remained passionate about providing the highest level of rehabilitative care to our patients since Ernest Health’s first hospital opened in 2005,” says Darby Brockette, CEO of Ernest Health. “We continuously strive to obtain the highest clinical results in our facilities, while ensuring that our patients are cared for in healing and nurturing environments. We take our health care responsibility seriously, and consider it a privilege to be invited to provide our services to the Boulder County area. We look forward to becoming an active, essential member of the community.”

With the nearest rehabilitation hospitals in Denver and Loveland, the new rehabilitation hospital will treat patients primarily from Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Broomfield, Westminster, and Thornton. It is expected to treat more than 900 patients every year and create about 120 jobs.
Groundbreaking for the hospital is expected to occur this fall, with the hospital opening 12-15 months later.

BCH remains committed to providing outpatient rehabilitation services. The management team is evaluating options for relocating existing outpatient services from the Broadway campus, including potentially locating those services at the new rehabilitation hospital.
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Ernest Health, Inc., is an Albuquerque, N.M.-based healthcare provider that owns and operates rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals nationwide. Visit Ernest Health at
BCH is an integrated regional health system with facilities throughout Boulder and Broomfield counties. BCH is known across Colorado for its clinical excellence in heart care, neurosurgery, stroke care, orthopedics and cancer care. For more information, visit and connect with BCH on Facebook and Twitter.