A steady stream of cars poured in off the main thoroughfare in Colorado: Colfax Street had a new tenant and they were open for business. The wait had been covered time and time again, but on July 31, the wait ended and the new Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center opened their doors to treat their first patients.

From 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., a bevy of welcoming employees and volunteers walked up and down the heart of the campus with maps in hand and wide smiles, ready to guide Veterans to their first appointments. Registered nurse Anna Chmura was among the greeters, who stated “It’s fun to watch them be so excited about the new facility.”

There was no shortage of helpers and smiles. Staff were excited to serve the Veterans and the patients were ecstatic to finally be in their new facility. Several Veterans came out just to perform reconnaissance missions to ensure they could find the location of future appointments.

Army Veteran and Red Coat Ambassador James Hamm also enjoyed helping the Veteran patients find their way around the 1.2 million square-foot campus. “I’m having fun walking around helping people and being a welcoming presence,” Hamm said. “Everyone is very enthusiastic. They love it.”

Health Care System Director Sallie Houser-Hanfelder knew the new 31-acre campus might intimidate first-time visitors, so she asked employees to take an hour or two out of their workday to act as a welcoming, way-finding crew. “We want our Veterans to know and feel that this new medical center is theirs. We want them to feel at home, and a hearty face-to-face welcome by the people who are here to serve them seemed a good way to show that.”

This is the new home of health care for Colorado Veterans. Not only does it take your breath away with its physical stature, it will also set the tone for future VA hospitals. Army Vietnam Veteran Reylando Lopez was just one of the many Veterans impressed with the care received stating, “I only waited three minutes for my blood work today … I barely got sat down before the nurse came to get me.” His wife Maria said of the facility, “This is awesome; beautiful and so far, great.”

History was made that day and the tone was set for future generations of Veterans to receive world-class health care in their state-of-the-art facility. Hope to see you here soon.

Jamie Dannen is a Public Affairs Specialist at VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver. She is an Army Veteran and a graduate of Kansas State University.

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Published on Aug. 10, 2018

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  1. Jamie August 22, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    You can see the map and lots of other info on the medical center website: https://www.denver.va.gov/

  2. Bennie Walton August 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I and I think others would love to be able to download a facility map. Is there one? Or will one be provided soon?

  3. Debbie Behrens August 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Yeah, the new VA facility is at the old Fitz complex in Aurora – it’s now the Anschutz Medical Campus (I think that’s the formal name). The VA is at the east end, along Colfax. There are new maps of the VA facility that the VA provides, but it does NOT include a Campus map, with the location within the campus of the VA facility. Would have been nice if this article had included both such maps.

  4. Judith E. Ahlvers August 14, 2018 at 10:42 am

    The article stated that it was on Colfax, and someone stated that it was in Aurora. Could this be the old Fitzsimons Army complex? My step-father was at the old one years ago.

    • Judy Stephens August 17, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Yes it IS on the old Fitzsimons Army complex, along with Children’s Hospital and the UCHealth (University of Colorado Hospital) and the Health Sciences schools (medical, nursing, dental, etc.) for C.U.

      • Judy Stephens August 17, 2018 at 8:19 pm

        Forgot to mention, the old Fitzsimons Army Hospital building still stands, where my husband was born in 1944. Most of it is used for administration for the Health Sciences Center but parts are designated as historic sites, including the old post office and the suite where General Eisenhower once stayed. A few of the other Fitzsimons buildings also remain, at least when I last checked.

    • REMF August 17, 2018 at 10:47 pm


  5. Al Anderer August 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Where is the new VA facility? Denver?

  6. Michael P McAuliffe August 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    If only the author would have mentioned what town the new facility is in….. Sure would be nice to know.

    • Gary Hicks August 13, 2018 at 7:07 am

      Aurora, Colorado

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