DENVER - SCL Health System Inc., a faith-based, nonprofit group, said Wednesday it plans to build and operate four small community hospitals throughout the Denver metro area.

Building costs and other financial details of the hospitals were not immediately available.

Denver-based SCL Health System is partnering with Emerus Hospital Partners LLC on the project, an emergency and acute health-care provider based in The Woodlands, Texas, according to Cheston Turbyfill, a spokesman for SCL Health System in Denver.

The first new hospital will be built in Westminster, Turbyfill said. The building's location and its size were not immediately available. The hospital is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2014, SCL said in a press statement. Final sites have not been selected for the other three hospital locations, Turbyfill said.

However, in October 2012, Exempla Healthcare bought 48.9 acres of land at the northwest corner of Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 52 in Frederick for an undisclosed price with plans to build a future medical campus. Exempla Healthcare is part of SCL Health System, which has more than 1,100 workers at offices in Broomfield, Denver and Lakewood.

Each new community hospital is expected to include an operating room and triage area on the first floor, and about 10 patient beds on a second floor, Turbyfill said. The hospitals will offer emergency medical care, inpatient care, surgical procedures, diagnostic services and other health services offered at other SCL Health facilities. SCL operates three hospitals in the Denver metro area, including Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette.

"We are evolving our health ministry to best meet the needs of our patients where they live, work and play," Michael Slubowski, president and chief executive of SCL Health System, said in the press statement. "By placing access to care closer to our patients, we are extending our quality, compassionate care beyond our hospital doors and deeper into our communities."

About 50 new doctors, nurses and other clinical specialists are expected to be hired to staff each new hospital, Turbyfill said. The hospitals will operate around the clock, every day of the year.

In all, SCL Health System operates hospitals and clinics in Colorado, Kansas, Montana and California. In the Denver metro area, SCL also operates Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge and Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. SCL is a $2.2 billion health network that was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth charity opened its first hospital in Kansas in 1864.