I got to take another trip to the construction site last week — this time to participate in the first official celebration inside the new hospital. Over 150 “owners” of the East Tower attended a special kick-off event, highlighted by a tour of their soon-to-be new home.
This group included nurses and doctors, technicians and clinical staff, all of whom will help the Office of Transformation plan for the new hospital‘s opening in January 2012. Selected because they currently work in areas that will move over to the new hospital, these employees play a key role in the opening of the East Tower.
From here on out, they will meet on a regular basis to help plan for the move-in, as well as what happens once the doors open. Because they will begin by studying the floor plan and work flows of their area, it made sense to literally start them out in their new space.
This involved a lot preparation, from safety training for all of the owners, to choreographing the movements of such a large group using only four hoists. But the effort paid off. While some of the areas were further along in construction, everyone got a chance to walk the space and enjoy the views. And although the plans for a champagne toast on the 12th floor were shelved, there certainly was a lot of celebrating going on up there.
We’ll be following the progress of these teams over the next 20 months via blogs, Facebook and Twitter, so keep an eye out. (In the meantime, I plan to post a blog on how we are communicating with the crews building the new hospital on Rush InPerson in the next couple of weeks.)
Cynthia Castronovo is associate director, Internal and Transformation Communications, for Rush University Medical Center. She contributes regular updates about the Rush Transformation.