Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Fletcher Allen’s goal is to create outpatient facilities that are more accessible and have the potential to expand to meet future patient needs – something our current outpatient space on the medical center campus cannot do. We are therefore looking to optimize our outpatient campus in South Burlington to support outpatient and ambulatory programs that can be offered at locations other than the busy medical center campus in Burlington. This will allow us to meet growing demand for outpatient services, invest in a smart buy-vs-lease strategy, and preserve space on the medical center campus for the most acute care needs. We remain committed to utilizing our medical center campus for inpatient care and closely related outpatient services.
Outpatient Plans FAQs
Where do you plan to move outpatient services?
We are looking at two adjacent sites which are well suited for ambulatory care purposes – Mountain View Park (Tilley Drive) and an adjacent parcel to the north, both in South Burlington. These properties are located off of Hinesburg Road.
- Mountain View Park includes almost 92 acres, several undeveloped lots and occupied buildings, and is suitable for near-term development. Our outpatient cardiology and orthopedics specialty centers are already located here, as well as our pain management clinic, cardiac rehab and endocrinology services.
- The adjacent parcel includes 38 undeveloped acres and has long-term development potential. Its purchase is subject to further real estate permitting.
What services would move to South Burlington?
At the moment, our focus is on securing the real estate to meet future outpatient needs. We anticipate moving several services off-site in the coming years, but we still need to do the comprehensive planning with our clinical and operations teams to determine what services make the most sense to move.
Will you move all outpatient services away from Burlington?
No. We will preserve outpatient and ambulatory services on the medical center campus that have the greatest connection with inpatient services, to ensure seamless coordination of care.
Why are we doing this now?
Right now, many of our outpatient services are at capacity and have no room to grow on our medical center campus. This fact, and a trend delivering more care in an outpatient setting in the future, illustrates that we must be prepared to expand outpatient services to meet demand.
We have a unique opportunity to secure land in South Burlington at a reasonable price that meets our Master Facilities planning criteria. We currently lease space at Tilley Drive. The available land is already zoned for development.
It is prudent to invest in real estate now for future ambulatory care use, as interest rates remain historically low. Our analysis shows that purchasing Fletcher Allen-occupied properties (such as our Orthopedic and Cardiology specialty centers in Mountain View Park), as well as land at Mountain View Park and the adjacent parcel, and even non-Fletcher Allen occupied buildings in Mountain View Park will pay for itself within 19 years. Further, future lease offset expenses would create more cost savings through cost avoidance – building on land we own would save millions over the long term.
What will this cost, and how can the hospital afford it?
The South Burlington land acquisition would cost roughly $51M. That number would also be refined through an independent appraisal process after issuance of the Certificate of Need (CON). Like any prudent family or business planning big projects, Fletcher Allen has been putting aside funds into our reserves for the past several years to support this and other Master Facilities projects. Because of our prudent operating practices and financial stability, we are in a good position to issue bonds or mortgage these properties. We have also been receiving donations to support these efforts, and will continue to engage interested donors and community members.
Who has been involved in the process?
We have worked with a variety of internal and external stakeholders to develop these plans. We’ve engaged Halsa Advisors to assess our inpatient and outpatient programs and project future patient volumes. We’ve worked with MorrisSwitzer~ Environments for Health to test building size, capacity and viability concepts. White and Burke, our real estate advisors, helped determine appropriate real estate locations. Within our organization, we’ve engaged our Medical Group, Facilities, Finance, Planning, Network Development and others to plan appropriately for outpatient needs.
What’s the project timeline?
Right now our focus is on submitting a CON application to the State of Vermont to purchase the properties. We don’t have a timeline for development of the properties at this time, but estimate that we’ll begin moving selected services in 3-5 years assuming we receive all approvals necessary.
Who can I contact with questions?
Dave Keelty, Director of Facilities Planning and Development, at 802-847-8443 or Dave.Keelty@vtmednet.org.