Hospital Move Like Ants on a Mission

Posted 28 May 2015 11:17 AM by TCAuthor3

By Carol Ryczek, community relations manager, Shawano Medical Center

Have you ever watched leafcutter ants? These little specks of mostly muscle and determination can haul chunks of plants that weigh up to 10 times the weight of the ant. They form a long parade – hundreds of ants hauling pieces of shrubbery to the nest. If you step in front of them, they go over or around you. Nothing stands in their way.

When thinking about the upcoming move to ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, the image of these hard working little ants comes to mind. You can almost picture the staff at Shawano Medical Center – each grabbing a chair or an IV pump or a couple of pillows and making the 2-mile march down Main Street as we head to the new building.

Fortunately, for the staff, patients, and traffic on Main Street, a much better move plan is in place.

The first day for patients at the new medical center will be the last day for patients at Shawano Medical Center: Sept. 20, 2015. On that date, any patient who had been admitted, and can’t be discharged, will be moved by ambulance to the new facility. These patients will need to be confident of their care no matter where they are. This means that all the services and equipment they need will remain at the old building, with a completely functional facility waiting at the other side of town.

To make that happen, most of the moving will be done well ahead of the patients.

Starting in July, new equipment will be installed in the new building. New electronic systems, surgical equipment, imaging and lab machines that are being upgraded will be installed. New furniture will be delivered. The site will be cleaned, inspected and tested, and the staff will train so that working in the new site feels as routine as where they work today. Even when that is completed, some staff will remain at the old site until renovations are completed in the ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano clinic.

An open house for the public will be held on Sept.16 – and then the real moving begins. Sept. 17, 18 and 19 will see most of the departments move, using commercial moving trucks, with the staff making sure everything is ready for patients on Sept. 20.

The last patients at SMC will be those in the emergency department, and they will be able to count on laboratory, imaging, and even emergency surgery if they need it. After the last patient’s needs are met, these departments will finish their moves.

You’ll see a lot of activity in September, and though it won’t look like the leafcutters at work, there is one important similarity. Once the process gets moving, nothing will stand in its way.