LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Desert Springs Hospital and Medical Center has announced that it will cease hospital operations and convert to a free-standing emergency room.

All inpatient operations are expected to stop on or about March 11, 2023, according to a Tuesday news release from the Valley Health System (VHS), which owns the hospital. “All existing inpatients will receive continued safe treatment and care before being appropriately discharged, transferred to another VHS facility, or moved to the next appropriate level of care at another facility,” the news release said.

The change will affect 970 employees, according to spokesperson Gretchen Papez. Staff were informed of the upcoming change in a letter.

Desert Springs Hospital is on East Flamingo Road at Burnham Street. An abundance of medical businesses in the area work with the hospital and could be affected by the decision to end inpatient services.

The Nevada Hospital Association said Desert Springs has 282 licensed hospital beds, including 34 in its intensive care unit. NHA said the hospital cited staffing issues as a contributing factor in the decision to convert its operations.

The hospital plans to build a new emergency room, a two-year project that will begin when inpatient care stops. Once the Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) is complete, emergency services will vacate the current facility and operate in the new FED, the news release said.

“Multiple factors contributed to this decision. Desert Springs Hospital, which opened in 1971, is an aging facility with complex physical constraints,” according to the release.

“The required renovations would be highly disruptive to operations and require a significant capital investment. Coupled with the fast-changing landscape of healthcare, which includes labor shortages and cost increases due to inflation, these unanticipated challenges have expedited the need to adapt our operations,” the release said.

The hospital is planning job fairs for employees who will lose their jobs in the change.