Summerlin Hospital marks 15 years

Summerlin Hospital Medical Center celebrated its 15th anniversary in October. The comprehensive care center’s first structure on the 40-acre campus was the medical office building on the north end. It opened in 1997 and offered outpatient surgery, imaging and an urgent care center.

A year later, the hospital at 657 N. Town Center Drive opened with 148 beds, providing general medical services to the community. Summerlin Hospital employed 100 people when it was established. Today, it has nearly 1,400 employees.

When the hospital opened, Summerlin Parkway ended at Town Center Drive.

"That hospital was one of the first structures on that side of the parkway," said Tom Warden, senior vice president of community and government relations for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin. "It was always considered important to have a state-of-the-art medical center as one of the mainstay developments in Summerlin. We partnered with Universal Health Systems; that’s why the hospital wears our logo. We wanted to make sure that the magnitude of the Summerlin community was understood from the get-go."

Within two years of opening, the facility experienced growing pains, and ever since it has been adding programs and technology, and more hospital beds, to support the growing community.

"It’s been a very fast pace. Even though the city’s kind of paused here, we’ve continued to add some stuff," said Robert Freymuller, CEO and managing director, referring to the limping economy.

He said the most significant milestone was the latest tower that expanded the emergency room and added comprehensive services such as the Level III neonatal extensive care unit. The tower has shell space on two floors for easy expansion.

"We had a Level II before, but we really put in a state-of-the-art NICU," Freymuller said. "I think that really changed the complexity of the hospital … We just bought a second da Vinci robot, so we’re doing the advanced robotic computer- assisted surgery, but this one allows us to do single incision surgery."

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 702-387-2949.

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