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Celebrating 100 Years of Boulder Community Health

Celebrating 100 Years of Boulder Community Health

Boulder Community Health (BCH) was born a century ago from a simple need of local control of health care resources for the health and well-being of Boulder County families. Now, 100 years later, the anniversary has prompted an outpouring of support for BCH. April 19 is being officially named as “Boulder Community Health Day” in Boulder, Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior – and the entire State of Colorado. Local and state government officials bestowed this honor on BCH in recognition of the 100 years of medical care and emotional support BCH has provided to each of these communities.

“Please join me in taking a moment to reflect on our incredible past, recognize our present and look ahead to an even brighter future by watching this powerful video honoring how BCH was Born to be 100,” said Dr Rob Vissers, MD, President and CEO of BCH.

BCH was born from the community

Community is central to BCH's name as it aligns with the focus of its mission, vision and long history.

BCH wasn’t the first hospital in Boulder. The University of Colorado opened a hospital on its campus in 1889 to provide a training ground for the medical school. However, when CU decided in 1920 to move its medical school to Denver, the long-term future of hospital care in Boulder was in doubt.

The university regents offered to let the Boulder Chamber of Commerce continue to operate the on-campus hospital for three more years – if the community agreed to find a suitable replacement facility during that period. That deal led to the creation of the nonprofit Community Hospital Association of Boulder, established on April 19, 1922, to construct and operate a community-owned, locally governed hospital. You can read more about BCH’s rich history on our Centennial webpage.

BCH builds community

BCH medical staff, employees and volunteers come from every corner of the Boulder Valley and beyond. When entering the doors for medical care, patients and vistors may recognize BCH's staff as a neighbor, a friend, or a family member. Physicians who are considering relocating to Colorado are uniformly amazed at the breadth and quality of medical services provided at BCH.

BCH's Board of Directors are area residents with diverse backgrounds who donate their time and expertise to help BCH leadership develop the strategic plans that guide its operations. As one of only two remaining independent, non-profit hospitals in Colorado, BCH's board members represent the diversity within the community and help to identify how local needs are evolving. For example, it’s widely acknowledged that care for mental health is inadequate across Colorado. For that reason, in 2019, BCH expanded efforts to support friends and neighbors with mental health issues by investing $45 million to open the Della Cava Family Medical Pavilion.

Partnerships are the heart of BCH. In 2017, a new organizational vision of partnering to create and care for the healthiest community in the nation was unveiled.

A recent partnership with Optum is helping BCH advance clinical and operational performance by providing valuable services, resources and scale, including managing a broad set of essential functions spanning data and analytics, revenue cycle management and care coordination.

BCH's partnerships with other health systems enhance pediatric care and rehabilitation services in the community. BCH also regularly collaborates with nonprofit organizations in the community to enhance care for disadvantaged groups. For example, working with community partners Bridge House and Boulder Shelter for the Homeless helps to improve the health of people experiencing homelessness.

YOU are BCH's community

None of this would be possible without the ongoing emotional and financial support BCH receives from the community. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly stressful and exhausting, BCH also saw unprecedented community support. Beyond the outpouring of financial support through the work of the BCH Foundation, the carloads of donations of PPE, the generous meals to feed frontline workers, and the whistles, howls, and applause from neighbors every evening echoing through the night skies will never be forgotten.

This year-long anniversary celebration includes public festivities across many of the Boulder County communities BCH serves. Please visit and follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular news, updates and special events all around Boulder County.