By RICK HAYES
MT. VERNON — —
Good Samaritan Regional Health Center will officially open its doors and begin the transfer of patients from its existing facility on Sunday.
Hospital officials are estimating that the transfer of patients from the existing facility to the new location on Veterans Memorial Drive will take about seven hours to complete, based upon the estimated number of patients receiving care in the current facility. Collaboration with area emergency management services will provide the 18 ambulances needed to move patients.
The move will begin at 7 a.m.
“We’ve spent over a year planning and practicing for this day,” said Mike Warren, president of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center. “With the knowledge of our local team and EMS along with industry experts with years of experience in guiding hospitals through patient moves like this, we’ve worked hard to ensure this transition is as seamless and as safe as possible.”
Several streets will be blocked during the move to accommodate medical personnel, although the route is not being disclosed for the protection of the patients.
“We’re assisting the hospital with the move,” Chief of Police Chris Mendenall offered.
“Patients will be moved in an ambulance that is specifically equipped for their needs, along with a dedicated transport nurse and care team that will stay with them until they are settled into their new all-private patient room,” stated Judy Haynes, Good Samaritan patient move coordinator.
During the move, hospital visitors will be limited to two per patient on Sunday. Normal hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. will resume on Monday, hospital officials stated in a news release. Emergency services will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s amazing the support received for this project — over 10,000 people from all over Southern Illinois visited our new campus during our open houses in early January and now as we open the doors, we’re finally able to give the regional what is so deserves, a state-of-the-art health care facility,” Warren added.
The five-floor hospital holds 134 beds, 8 observation beds, all-private rooms and numerous patient safety features. The hospital also includes Emergency Care services, a Women’s Center and Procedure Center.
Announced in 2009, the new hospital was built to replace the existing hospital, which has served the Mt. Vernon community since 1952. The new $237 million facility broke ground in April 2010 and was built by McCarthy Builders of St. Louis, Lipps Construction of Mt. Vernon and Shores Builders of Centralia.
The existing campus on North 12th Street is being sold to Shores Builders. It will be demolished and returned to green lots for potential development.