Vail Health Hospital’s new east wing opened to the public on Dec. 1. Designed by Davis Partnership Architects and built by GE Johnson, the east wing expansion includes a new lobby, plaza, emergency department and five levels of underground parking on the north side of the building, allowing ambulance and visitor traffic to be redirected away from a major pedestrian and tourist road in the center of Vail. The ambulance bay has snowmelt concrete and is covered to welcome patients and emergency responders.

The new rooftop helipad, with direct elevator access to the emergency department, reduces patient transport times by 30 to 45 minutes. Previously, patients were transported by ambulance from the former helipad near Vail’s town hall. GE Johnson broke ground on the $141-million project in 2018. The east wing expansion included demolition of the original circa-1967 clinic and removal of a parking structure that GE Johnson built into a hillside just south of the Interstate 70 frontage road in 1990.

GH Phipps established a companywide volunteer program in 2012—the 60th anniversary of the company—that has inspired employees to donate thousands of hours of their time to hundreds of organizations throughout Colorado.  

During 2020, even while dealing with uncertainties presented by the pandemic, the company’s employees again exceeded their goals, with 2,000 hours of volunteer time on behalf of 60-plus organizations. The goal of the Phipps program is to volunteer for 60 organizations (marking the company’s 60th anniversary) in one year, with a minimum of 1,952 volunteer hours (the company was founded in 1952).  

“In spite of all the challenges associated with the pandemic during this past year, our team still made it a priority to help others in need and make sure that we continue to hit our volunteer program goals,” said Kurt Klanderud, president of GH Phipps.