Essentia Health completes transfer of patients to replacement St. Mary’s Medical Center

July 30, 2023  By: Anthony Matt

Patient Move Day

Essentia Health is excited to announce that our patient-transfer process from the legacy St. Mary's Medical Center to the replacement hospital is complete. Not only was it a safe move, but it was efficient as well.

MovingWe opened the doors to the emergency department at 6 a.m. Sunday, July 30, and our first inpatient was transferred from the legacy hospital to the new one at about 7. That was Bethany Johnson of Chisholm, who is pregnant with her second child. Johnson, like every patient Sunday, received a special memento to mark the occasion.

“It’s a big deal to be able to participate in this and that our community has this new hospital,” Johnson said.

The final patient to arrive entered the replacement hospital at 1:36 p.m.

“The journey of St. Mary’s Medical Center began 135 years ago when the Benedictine Sisters first moved into the first hospital in 1888," said Dr. David Herman, Essentia's CEO. "Today we continued that journey by moving into the new St. Mary's Medical Center. I am grateful for all of the hands and hearts that brought this new facility into being, and for the great work today in moving patients from the legacy St. Mary’s to this new place of care and healing. I am proud of the great care and compassion that will continue in St. Mary’s for generations to come through those who made it possible today, and those who will guide the healing of our patients and communities in the future.”

SkywalkIn total, about 230 patients were moved in less than seven hours. About 500 Essentia volunteers pitched in, ensuring the process went seamlessly.

“This is a testament to the months of mock moves, training and planning our world-class staff has undertaken,” said Dr. Bill Heegaard, president of Essentia’s East Market. “This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we are so thankful for all the staff, coordinators and volunteers that made this such a successful move.”

While dozens of teams were transporting patients, additional staff were busy caring for patients. The first patient to visit the new emergency department occurred at about 6:30 a.m., our first surgery was completed by 9 and the first medical transport helicopter landed just after noon.

Moving“When we set out to build this state-of-the-art facility, we knew it was going to be a big project, but we knew our patients and our staff deserved it,” said Dr. Heegaard. “Now, as we stand here today, it’s clear that the vision has become a reality and we are proud to provide our patients the highest quality care in the most advanced facility in the region.”


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