Cumberland Times-News

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November 20, 2009

WMHS making move to new center

CUMBERLAND — Just over three years ago, ground was broken at 12500 Willlowbrook Road, marking the inception of the tri-state region’s newest state-of-the-art hospital — Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.

The new hospital is admitting patients, as well as accepting new emergency patients and women in labor, today, beginning at 6 a.m.

In less than a 12-hour time period, more than 2,500 people from throughout the Cumberland community will work together to combine two hospitals into one — an extraordinary feat that only has been done twice in the U.S. in the past three years.

Approximately 200 patients from Braddock Hospital and Memorial Hospital will be transported throughout the day by ambulance to the new hospital. Once all patients from both hospitals have been safely transported to the new centralized hospital, Braddock Hospital and Memorial Hospital will officially close.

Patient safety

For months, the team at Western Maryland Health System has worked closely with local and state law enforcement, movers and ambulance companies to ensure transporting the more than 200 patients and equipment to the new hospital is done in the safest and most secure way possible.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our patients safe,” said Jo Wilson, vice president of ancillary operations at WMHS. “We will be monitoring all transition routes throughout the day very closely.”

Hospital officials have conducted several mock exercises to prepare everyone involved in today’s hospital transition.

“We’ve practiced numerous times how we are going to safely move our patients to make sure everybody is aware of their roles and responsibilities on Saturday,” said Wilson.

The schedule of the transition of the two hospitals into one is as follows:

• 6 to 11:30 a.m.: Patients transported from Braddock Hospital to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center

• 1 to 6 p.m.: Patients transported from Memorial Hospital

• 6 p.m.: Family and friends are invited to visit patients at the new facility

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