After months of preparation and anticipation, Saturday’s move of the last patients from the old Clark Regional Medical Center into the new hospital on Lexington Road went off without a hitch.
Ambulance crews from Winchester Fire-EMS, Estill and Powell counties began moving the 16 patients to the new facility at 5 a.m., and less than two hours later, the move was completed and the lights were turned out for the final time at the old hospital.
Tiffany Stafford, CRMC director for marketing and public relations, said the transition was smooth.
“It went really well and was done by 6:30. There were no issues or emergencies that came through the hospital during that time, so it went very smoothly,” Stafford said. “Winchester Fire-EMS has been helping us coordinate this which really helped it go so smooth, and our staff has been unbelievable during all this.”
Stafford said the patients seemed to be excited about getting to the new facility, especially Mark Pick of Campton, the first patient moved Saturday.
“I’m sure the patients were excited about getting awakened at 4:30 in the morning, but they were excited about going to the new hospital,” Stafford said. “The first patient, Mr. Pick, was hilarious. He was laughing and joking with everybody, and was excited to get to see the new hospital. All the patients have been really receptive of the transition, so that made it easier.”
Patients in the hospital’s 25-bed skilled nursing unit were moved earlier last week.
Once the last patient was out of the old hospital, all signs were removed from the building and entrance to the property. A large sign was placed at the main entrance to the property directing people to the new hospital.
Stafford said staff at the hospital were relieved to finally have everything back in the same building.
“It has essentially been two hospitals up and running for the past three weeks, so there was a lot of running back and forth between the two buildings,” Stafford said. “I’m sure the staff is glad to be in one place and back under one roof again.”
It will take some time, Stafford said, for both staff and visitors to the hospital to get acclimated to the new facility.
“There is going to be a little bit of a learning curve as far as getting used to the facility for everybody,” Stafford said. “Our goal is to make sure that when our patients and visitors come in, that we help them find whatever they need to find and get them settled in. I think everybody is ready to just take a big breath now and get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.