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Moving day for new Pinckneyville Hospital

 
John H. Croessman
updated: 9/29/2015 11:37 PM

Mary Faulkner, a nurse for 35 years, said it was a bittersweet morning as she stood by to assist Pinckneyville Ambulance Service personnel load nine patients into ambulances and vans for their transfer to the new Pinckneyville Community Hospital Monday morning.

"It will be hectic for a while," she said of the move to the new hospital along Rt. 154 east of the community.

One of the first patients to be transferred was Mary Ridgeway. Mary was adorned in a blue blanket, a signal to the media that she could talk to them.

She had nothing but praise for the hospital and the ambulance medics that wheeled her past the basement ER to an awaiting ambulance outside.

Earlier in the morning Southern Illinois Movers of Du Quoin were transferring beds and other hospital equipment to the new medical center.

Nine patients would be transferred before the end of the morning.

The day also included a test landing of a medical evacuation helicopter on the helipad at the new hospital at 12:30 p.m. followed by an employee balloon launch to celebrate the hospital"s opening at 1:30 p.m.

Retired administrator Tom Hudgins stood at the entrance to the ER of the old hospital, saying healthcare faces some tremendous financial challenges in the coming year.

He said at this writing the board seems to be focused on demolishing the old hospital.