MOUNT VERNON — Amid a carefully choreographed transfer of patients, the newly constructed Good Samaritan Regional Health Center will open for business today.
The $237 million medical center will begin providing emergency services at 7 a.m.
Transfer of patients from the existing facility on North 12th Street to the new one will begin at the same time. Staff worked with area emergency management services to secure 18 ambulances for the move.
“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 rooms,” Good Samaritan patient move coordinator Judy Haynes said.
The transfer of patients is expected to take about seven hours.
“We’ve spent over a year planning and practicing for this day,” Good Samaritan President Mike Warren said. “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.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said she will be at the new center for the move.
“I will be watching because I’m interested in the logistics of how they do it,” Chesley said. “It’s also a day that the hospital and the city have worked for a long, long time to see and it’s finally becoming real.”
The new medical center is a win for the entire region, she said.
“It will bring jobs to the community, more revenue to the city and expands health care for Mount Vernon, Jefferson County and all of Southern Illinois,” Chesley said.
Construction on the center, which saw more than 10,000 people cross its threshold during open houses earlier this month, began in April 2010 and averaged 275 full-time construction jobs during the 30-month building project.
An estimated 112 permanent health care jobs and about 40 physician office positions will be created with the opening of the facility.
The new center replaces the existing hospital complex, which opened in 1952. The complex will be demolished and replaced with green neighborhood lots.
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