News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

It's Moving Day At Parkland Hospital: So Far, So Good, Officials Say

BJ Austin
Thursday was moving day for Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

It’s moving day for Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Doctors, nurses, patients and equipment are making the shift from the 61-year-old hospital on Harry Hines Boulevard to the $1.3 billion New Parkland across the street.

Here’s a timeline of what happened earlier today.

6:01 a.m.: The New Parkland’s Rees-Jones Trauma Center and Labor and Delivery opens.

6:20 a.m.: First patients arrive in the emergency room; two men in their 30s were injured in a car crash.

7:01 a.m.: The first patient arrives across the Mike A. Myers Sky Bridge from the old Parkland to the new one.  Nedra Washington of Dallas, 28, is expecting her third child any day now, a girl. Washington was admitted to Parkland a few days ago for gestational diabetes. She gave her New Parkland room a good review, saying it’s larger, private, and has a bigger TV.

7:34 a.m.: The first Careflight emergency helicopter landed on the 17th floor helipad. The patient was a man in his 30s, a victim of a car wreck.  ER officials said he was doing well.

9:40 a.m.: The first baby is born at the New Parkland: a boy, 7 lbs, 8 oz. Mother and child are doing fine.

10:15 a.m.: Sixty-five patients had been rolled across the 1,000-foot sky bridge to the new hospital. Doctors assessed each patient prior to the move and afterward in their new rooms.  Medical personnel escorted each patient across.  Parkland officials said the one-by-one transfer of patients was on schedule and progressing without incident.

“Everything is set up around ensuring the patients’ safety,” Parkland Trauma Center chief Dr. Alex Eastman said during a mid-morning update outside the Emergency Room entrance. “All of the operation pieces of the move are designed to ensure that this is going safely and efficiently.”

It will take until sometime Saturday to relocate the more than 600 Parkland patients.

Some clinics and offices will remain in the old Parkland building.  Eastman says he began his medical career in the old building. He admits getting a little emotional thinking about the personal and historical significance of old Parkland. But he says the new hospital is world-class and state-of-the-art, and is going to be an exciting place to work and receive medical care.

“I think when you’ve been cared for in a building like old Parkland, which was built in fits and starts, and we had to adjust our care processes to the building, now we got a building that’s built around the best practices and best processes,” Eastman said.

The New Parkland is twice as big as the old one. The emergency room/trauma center is five times bigger. And the hospital is all digital, including the kiosks in the lobby showing where you are and where to go. 

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.