Porter Regional Hospital officially opened for business at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Shortly after the flags were raised, Porter began its primary patient
transport from its former facility at 814 LaPorte Avenue, Valparaiso to the
new 430,000 square-foot facility at 85 E. U.S. 6 in Liberty Township which
took place at almost lightning speed, finishing up roughly at 11 a.m., three
hours earlier than expected.
A total of 95 patients were transported safely Saturday morning by a fleet
of 35 ambulances on five separate routes moving North along Ind. 49, Porter
CEO Jonathan Nalli told the Tribune on Monday.
“It was wonderful,” said Nalli. “We finished three hours ahead of schedule
and without any safety issues or damages at all. That is a credit to the
planning and preparation of not only the staff of both the Valparaiso
hospital and Porter Regional Hospital but also all the agencies involved
(with the move).”
Agencies assisting with the move included the Liberty Township Fire
Department, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, Valparaiso Police and Fire
departments, Valparaiso University Police, Porter County Highway Department,
Emergency Management Agency, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The only issues reported were relatively minor; just a few deficiencies here
and there in some of the radio communication equipment, but backup systems
were in position.
Traffic flowed accordingly with the use of digital signs and flaggers.
Preparation for the move took more than eighteen months, Nalli said, at a
cost of about $1 million which included training staff on new procedures and
coordination with the move.
Earlier reports last week indicated the hospital was prepared to transport
an estimated 140 patients but the number turned out to be much smaller than
expected. A few patients had been discharged prior to the move.
Using a separate route, six large moving trucks transported pieces of
medical equipment up Meridian Road from the Valparaiso campus. As of Monday,
items were still being moved from the older location but Nalli said all the
important pieces of equipment should be moved by the end of today.
Items to be
The hospital plans to auction off the remaining pieces of equipment and
other smaller items housed at the Valparaiso Medical Campus at an
unannounced date in the next few of weeks. A clean sweep will be performed
this week by a Chicago-based auction house.
Hospital employees will have first pick on the auction items as a day will
be set aside specifically for them to bid. The public will then have a day
following to make auction purchases. Items left over will be given to
non-profits who have made partnerships with the hospital.
Once the Valparaiso campus is cleared out, the facility will be razed to the
ground and made shovel-ready for its new owners Valparaiso University, Nalli
Meanwhile, the hospital announced the arrival of its first baby, a boy, at
7:45 p.m. on Saturday.