preparation culminated Saturday in the successful opening of the new
Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital.
The first patient
at the new facility, at 3500 Franciscan Way, arrived at the emergency
department at 6:05 a.m. Transportation of existing patients at the Homer
Street location began at 8 a.m. and the final patient arrived shortly after
noon. In all, 52 patients were transported by crews from Superior Ambulance.
The expected snow held off until mid-morning when light flurries began to
“Clearly, the many
months of planning, preparation and practice have paid off,” said
President/CEO Dean Mazzoni.
“Patients are being
moved safely. The staff is upbeat. Everyone is excited about getting into
this new facility.”
Patient safety was
the primary concern of Vice President of Operations Trish Weber. “Moving
equipment, you can have a break here or there and it’s no big deal, but
human lives -- there can be no error. So we practiced and practiced,” Weber
“I am just amazed
at what I’ve seen today. Everything is just orchestrated. There’s not a
glitch anywhere. People know their jobs,” said Sister Jane Marie Klein,
chairwoman of Franciscan Alliance, whose job on this day was to greet each
arriving patient with a warm blanket and a blessing. Each patient that was
moved received a keepsake blanket.
One of the patients
moved on Saturday was Brett Erow of Michigan City, who was delighted by a
smart TV that greeted him, displaying a “Welcome, Brett” message. “It’s such
a huge event. Everyone is thinking to themselves, how are we going to do
this,” Erow said, “But it really went smooth.”
The move was
assisted by the Michigan City Police Department and LaPorte County Sheriff’s
Department, who coordinated traffic at intersections along the
transportation route for the ambulances.