The doors to Children’s Memorial Hospital were officially closed Saturday night after the last patient was transferred to the new hospital in Streeterville.
There were 126 patients transported to the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in a 14 hour period on Saturday that included closing parts of Fullerton Parkway to make the move quick and easy. Hospital officials had projected the move would take between 10 and 18 hours.
"The move is progressing as planned--on time--and we're very pleased with what we've accomplished so far," said President and CEO of Lurie Children's Hospital Patrick Mcgoon during a press conference at 11 a.m. By that time more than half of the patients had successfully completed the three-mile journey.
The final patient was transported from Children's Memorial at 7:50 p.m. and the doors to the 130-year-old hospital were shut by 8 p.m.
The big move got off to a very early start. Ambulances began their back-and-forth trips between hospitals around 6 a.m. The first patient to be transported was 5-month-old Emiliano Ocampo-Vazquez who was born prematurely and has a muscle disorder.
Across town at the same time, Lurie Children's Hospital officially opened its doors and admitted its first patient.
“For most people this is going to make a huge difference, especially for people who spend a lot of time here, the atmosphere is unbelievable,” said Lisa Saul whose son Max was the first person admitted to the ER at the new hospital.
The 1.25 million square foot building hosts state of the art equipment as well as breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.
Although a big day for patients and staff, they say that early preparation played a key role in having the day run smoothly.
“We’ve spent a lot of time this week orienting our staff to the new environment here at Lurie,” said Rick Dsida, Attending Anesthesiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The City of Chicago aided the transportation by closing parts of Fullerton Parkway and enforcing parking restrictions to make it easier for ambulances. However, it caused some congestion on the roads with beachgoers heading out to enjoy the sun and concertgoers heading to Wrigley Field for the Brad Paisley Concert.