VALPARAISO | As of 6 a.m. today, the Porter Regional Hospital is open, transferring patients from Porter hospital, 814 LaPorte Ave., and accepting new patients.
Eighty-five patients awaited to be transferred as of 7:20 a.m.
All patients were successfully transferred and admitted to Porter Regional Hospital by 10:45 a.m.
Hospital officials anticipated transferring 150 patients but that number dropped to 102 patients due to efforts to discharge patients prior to the move.
The most acute patients were loaded first and ambulances began arriving at 6:27 a.m. Flashing signs in the area alerted motorists to yield to emergency vehicles.
"It gave me goose bumps," said Karen Keltner, manager of marketing and communications for the hospital. "It's been long time coming."
Keltner said the move will cost an estimated $1 million dollars.
Emergency personnel were prepared for the move. At the 7-11 convenience store, clerk Joel Lilley said emergency crews began filing through the store at 4 a.m., purchasing coffee and energy drinks.
"Anything to give them energy I guess," Lilley said.
While crews transported patients to Porter Regional Hospital, respiratory therapist Sherry Beoughter finished her last shift at Porter hospital. She begins her first shift at the new hospital at 10 p.m. tonight.
"It's very exciting to go to the new place," she said.