Rush’s New Hospital: Gearing Up For The Big Move

Cynthia (Cindee) Castronovo at a recent shoot for an ad about Rush's new hospital.

By Cynthia Castronovo

After spending over five years working closely with the Office of Transformation team as it helped design and build Rush’s new hospital, it recently occurred to me that my role has shifted as we get ready to open it. My communication efforts have changed from tracking the building’s progress and celebrating its milestones, to preparing employees to move into the Tower in January.

Now, instead of sitting in meetings with architects and construction workers, I am working with the operational people who will be moving into this beautiful new building. I now sit on a number of committees and have a whole new appreciation for the synergies that take place when you have the right people in a room — all working with a common goal.

Training and Education

One of the first teams I joined in preparation for the move was the Training and Education Committee, led by human resources. This group was charged with a major task: Train everyone moving into the new building on everything from learning how to use new systems and equipment to which elevators to use.

In my communication role, I helped develop a new intranet site, produce a series of educational videos and conduct countless tours of the new hospital.

Move-In Weekend Communications

Recently, I participated in a tabletop drill of the move-in weekend where the staff who will move our patients from our existing hospital to the Tower sat around a large room and were asked to respond to a number of scenarios that could occur during the move. This drill included everyone — from nursing, to ancillary staff, to transporters. I was asked to determine what sort of communications, if any, should take place in each of these situations.

Last week the same group left the conference rooms behind and conducted a dress rehearsal where staff simulated the moves as they will occur during our move-in weekend. I spent several hours in the command center on a laptop tracking the progress of the moves by updating a special milestone tracker on the intranet and paging staff.

Closing in on Jan. 6

The list of communication tasks still in progress is daunting -– from helping with this week’s series of opening events to drafting patient communications and even ordering T-shirts for our volunteers. But thanks to the collaborative efforts of everyone I work with in Marketing and Communications and across the medical center, I feel confident and eager as we get closer to Jan. 6. Working with these talented, dedicated people makes me proud to work at Rush and confident that we will continue to be the medical center of choice in Chicago.

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