Children's Hospital move complete

June 10, 2012 4:54:05 AM PDT
A major move is under way as the Children's Memorial Hospital vacates its Lincoln Park address for a new location downtown.

That intensive and precise process took more than 12 hours.

Fourteen hours of nonstop patient transports ended at 7:45 p.m. With the patients stabilized in their new rooms, the staff settles in to the first night at the Lurie Children's Hospital.

Some young ones don't realize the journey ahead, but their parents do.

"Considering it's a nerve-wracking day and the butterflies are in our stomach, we feel comfortable, we feel at ease," said Patricia Ocampo.

Five-month-old Emiliano is among the first patients to leave Children's Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park for the hospital's new location.

For 131 years the hospital's staff has cared for the most ill children here.

"Everybody is so focused on this transition," said Dr. Lauren Holinger, a second generation of doctors at Children's. "It's a new era."

Motorists on Lake Shore Dr. may have noticed more ambulances on the road.

Each ambulance carried a patient to the new facility in Streeterville.

"We're just keeping a very close eye on the status of our patients making sure that they are safe and ready to move," Maureen Mahoney said.

Jodi Grzywa was one of the first patients moved to the new Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

"It was exciting," Grzywa said. "It was really fun riding in the ambulance. I was like a little princess moving through the city."

Hospital administrators say the new facility was needed to lure the best medical school candidates and to partner with nearby facilities on research.

"To identify the precursors of adult disease in children through and expanded research program and to transition children who Aare survivors of chronic illness into adulthood and the partnership with Northwestern Memorial provides that full continuum of care," said hospital President and CEO Patrick Magoon.

The new hospital includes the latest technology, like the ability for cardiologists the read an x-ray right in the patients room.

"If you found a serious problem, like air in the lung or a heart that's too big or anything your needed to act on immediately, we're right there and we can do it," said Dr. Elfriede Pahl.

The promise of improved care and comfort for the patients motivated the move.

At the end of Emiliano's transport, he was safe and sound, and his parents were relieved.

"It's just amazing," Ocampo said. "It's beautiful, starting with the view, it's a great view. The rooms are spacious and everything's new-state of-the-art technology."

"The staff was very well prepared, so everything went pretty smoothly all the way," said Sergio Vazquez.

The teams actually ran two emergency rooms during the transition and patients were urged to come to the new facility if they needed emergency treatment.

There were two new patients were admitted Saturday at Lurie Children's Hospital.


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