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Hospital makes successful move; 95 patients transported

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Porter Regional Hospital opened for business Saturday

(Tribune photo by Abigail Canright)

By JEFF SCHULTZ

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 auctioned

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 said.

First baby arrives

Meanwhile, the hospital announced the arrival of its first baby, a boy, at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday.

 

 

Posted 8/27/2012