Children's Memorial moves patients to new hospital

In a historic move, over 100 patients from Children's Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park were transported to the new Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Streeterville.

Just after 6 a.m., Emiliano Vasquez sat quietly next to his new teddy bear as the hospital staff carefully put him in the ambulance for a short three mile ride.

The five-month-old is being treated for a muscle deficiency and needs a ventilator to breathe.

Vasquez became the first of 126 patients to move from Children’s Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park to the new state-of-the-art facility.

Staff members at both facilities had been planning for the move for the past four years. Every move had been carefully coordinated and practiced.

Two dozen ambulances were lined up outside Children’s Memorial early Saturday morning. Fullerton Avenue was shut from Lincoln Avenue to Lake Shore Drive to accomodate the move. The LSD entrance and exit ramps at Fullerton were also closed.

Staff members said that from a symbolic standpoint, today was quite special, but in terms of transporting patients, it was just business as usual.

“This is something we do every day. Over 25 years we have transferred 27,000 patients, so this is something we do each and every day,” said Michelle Stephenson, Chief Nurse Executive.

The spacious 23-story Lurie Children’s Hospital is now up and running. The staff even admitted some new patients today along with the others who were transferred over.

Hospital officials said patients can expect the best service in the country for its young patients.

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