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Children's Hospital prepares for major move

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 18:58:38-04

The new Oishei Children's Hospital is about 90 percent complete, according to Kaleida Health. But that means the day is fast approaching when staff needs to transport every single patient from the old hospital on Bryant Street to the new facility.

"One of the things that happens when we talk about that is it might be done for construction, but there's still a lot left to be done by the hospital in terms of moving in furniture," explained Mickey Mariacher, director of construction management for Kaleida Health.

So the hospital has brought in Cassie Church to lead that transition. She's been a part of two hosptial moves before and is bringing that experience with her to Buffalo.

"We want to move things quickly but not too quickly," Church said. "It's really like conducting an orchestra. We move patients on a daily basis. We move equipment on a daily basis. It's just the volume and orchestration that we have to perform."

That volume is what brings so many challenges with this complex a move. Church is preparing staff to move 150 patients in a single day, a number she says should be higher than the actual number of people being treated during the move.

And then there's the equipment. According to Church, much of the new equipment and furniture will be in place before the patients need to be moved. But around 30 percent of the equipment at the current hospital will need to make the trip at the same time as the patients who rely on it.

"Everything is going to be on a very specific timetable to be sure things like beds and pieces of equipment are arriving when we need them to and patients are arriving at the time we're expecting," she explained.

Church is helping plan out routes between the two hospitals so trucks transporting equipment and vehicles transporting patients don't get in the way of each other.

"One of the best things is that we do move patients everyday--not 150--but we do move them on a regular basis," Church said. "So every patient that is moving with us is going to move safely with the appropriate people that they need to do that."

Construction is expected to be completed in August and the move between hospitals is being scheduled for November.