University of Chicago hospital moves into new building

February 23, 2013 3:36:54 PM PST
Saturday was moving day for the University of Chicago Medical Center as staff and patients transitioned into the new Center for Care and Discovery.

The $700 million hospital is location at 57th and Maryland in Hyde Park. It is estimated to be the largest investment ever made on the South Side.

Two hundred patients, 650 cameras, 500 medical staff in two command centers.

The move from the old hospital to new care center had to be precise.

"For today it's all about safety, safety, safety, safety," said University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O'Keefe.

And it all started with Karen Perlmuter, patient No. 1.

"When you're in a room for three weeks and there is really no place to go, it's nice to have a new place to be," Perlmuter said.

Perlmuter was diagnosed with leukemia three-and-a-half weeks ago and has been at the University of Chicago's Mitchell Hospital getting treatment ever since.

Saturday she was carefully wheeled into her new, private room.

"I could never afford this room on my own, so if I have to be here I'm ok with that," she said.

The new Center For Care and Discovery, has over 1 million square feet dedicated to specialty care and 240 rooms, all with a view.

It's a $700 million project that has been in the works since 2009.

"Things will be different not just for these patients but for patients all over our campus," said Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Weber. "We're using the opportunity to open this new building to learn about new technology and apply new technology"

For patients like Linda Burnam, who is battling lung cancer, it's a nice way to wake up each day.

"Just looking out it makes me want to get up and move around more in the room and look out the window," she said.