War Memorial Hospital moving day to new facility is Saturday, April 28
Caravans of vehicles will carry War Memorial Hospital patients, equipment and supplies to their new
facility on the morning of Saturday, April 28. Hospital officials hope to have the move completed by lunch-time.
The new hospital is located at 1 Healthy Way off Fairview Drive around 1.5 miles from the current hospital.
Beginning at 7 a.m. on April 28, all patients—in-patient, emergency and outpatient— should go to the new hospital location for health care services.
The emergency room will open in the new hospital at 7 a.m. that Saturday, said hospital president Neil McLaughlin. Dr. Kevin McLaughlin will be the on-duty emergency department physician at the new facility that morning.
They will be double-staffed that day with personnel at both locations until the old hospital no longer has patients on site, McLaughlin said. Valley Health personnel from Winchester and Hampshire County will also be there.
Where to go when
If people are sick or injured at 7 a.m. or later on April 28, they should go to the new facility, he said. If they need emergency care before 7 a.m., they should go to the old hospital.
“Everyone should expect the same level and quality of care at either location,” he said.
McLaughlin said a command center for the move will open around 6:30 a.m. that morning. They’ll start moving patients around 8 a.m. Patients will be transported by wheelchair vans or ambulances. They have 16 long-term care patients so there will be a maximum of five trips to transport those patients.
They presently have 11 to 12 acute/skilled care patients. All in-patients would travel by ambulance, McLaughlin said. The hospital can accommodate 25 acute/skilled care patients.
They are prepared to move 25 acute/skilled patients if needed, hospital community relations director Lyn Goodwin said.
Any patients who were in critical condition that morning would be waiting to be transferred to another facility and wouldn’t be moved to the new hospital. That would be the case, even if the hospital
wasn’t moving, McLaughlin said.
The hospital has purchased a lot of new equipment and furniture that is already at the new facility. Some equipment and furniture from the old hospital will also be moved there by truck and by employees, he said.
Saw other hospital moves
Staff observed Hampshire County Hospital’s move to its new location as well the move at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown and learned from those moves.
War Memorial Hospital hired a moving advisor, but not a moving company, McLaughlin said. Valley Health is supplying transport vans, ambulances and box trucks to carry supplies, furniture and equipment.
They’re hoping for a nice, sunny day with an appropriate temperature for the move, McLaughlin said. However, they are prepared for the unexpected and could defer the move to later that day if some local emergency arose.
Important to know
When coming to the new facility, people should drive past the front of the hospital and turn left into the driveway entrance at the sign that says 1 Healthy Way and come to the main entrance. The driveway entrance located on the left immediately before the hospital is for employees, ambulances and deliveries.
Patients and visitors to the new hospital should use the canopy marked “Main Entrance,” which is the first canopy on the right after turning into the parking area in front of the hospital. The registration desk is right inside.
Patients going to cardiac rehab and physicians’ offices and visitors going to the extended care facility and administrative offices should enter the building from the unmarked canopy that is the second canopy from the right.
General visiting hours will be suspended from 8 p.m. on Friday, April 27 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 so they can have a chance to get settled in with patients, McLaughlin said.
The hospital main switchboard number and all department telephone numbers will remain the same, Goodwin said. Most fax numbers will change. They will have a directory of all phone and fax numbers for the new location available soon.
Open house, ribbon-cutting
The new War Memorial Hospital community open house with tours is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 from 1 to 5 p.m.
The dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting is set for Monday, April 23 at 1 p.m. An open house and tours will follow from 2 to 4 p.m.
The new $30 million, 87,000 square-foot War Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital that will provide 24-hour emergency care services, 25 acute care/skilled care beds and 16 long-term care beds. It will also offer outpatient services, diagnostic testing and expanded emergency and surgical departments.
If anyone has questions about the move, call the hospital at 304-258-1234.