“I moved a hospital today… What did you do?”
Maureen Mahoney, the hospital’s chief of transition planning, said the staff’s extensive preparation for the move has paid off.
“We’ve been planning for this for four years, and we have not had really any surprises today,” she said.
On the first day of our class, a remarkable project was going on. Moving 126 patients from the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park to their new facility in Streeterville.
Roads were closed. More than 24 ambulances were involved. 14 hours worth of work. And no real surprises.
Maureen Mahoney was tasked with leading the project. The project has been 6 years in the making. Mahoney visited 13 other hospitals that went through moves and learned that comprehensive planning with plenty of time was crucial for their success. She started with the hospital in 1984 as a staff nurse and kept a notepad by her bed at night to write down spontaneous thoughts about the move.
Unexpected things did come up, but Mahoney adjusted. For example the NATO conference forced the team to delay some moves and training. And a company was put on call in case the hospital needed to be boarded up if protests made their way north.
For such a high profile project, it appears the move went very smoothly for employees and patients alike. In fact, many parents were looking forward to the move since their children hadn’t been outside in some time and were used to being “poked and prodded.”
Mahoney’s team was assisted by Balfour Resource Group which has expertise in the movement of medical facility moves.
The planning to pull this off obviously had to be incredible – having ER’s open at both locations should a child’s condition worsen, and then attempting to plan for weather or political events which could disrupt the move.
The team celebrated their success by wearing purple t-shirts which read “I moved a hospital today… What did you do?”
The skills which everyone has written about were clearly evident in the leaders of this project.
What element of the move impresses you the most? I was working in the area the day before the move and spoke to several of the staff who were packing their final boxes. They seemed excited and none seemed overly stressed about the move which is a testament to the pre-planning and work of Mahoney and her team.