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New Hospital Blog : 1-11-11

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1-11-11 Game Time!
by Trillium Hibbeln on 01/10/2011 at 5:41 PM

One day away.

I am so excited that it is finally here, tomorrow we open the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and about 100 children are expected to be part of the big move of our patients.

Our president, Dr. Bob Connors gathered us together in the cafeteria of the new hospital this afternoon for last minute briefings.

In his quiet, calm way (he is a surgeon after all) Dr. Connors said, "To think that this day is actually coming after all these years of planning, and hoping and building, it is a surreal feeling almost. Tomorrow, there will be kids all over the place here, and that is a good thing, because this will be the right place for kids."

Dr. Connors looked around at all of us and added, "You all have been running a marathon for the past year or more, now it is like a 100 meter dash sprint to the finish."

Our two hospital chaplains then did a prayer of blessing. I found myself nodding at these words, "ease our anxieties, calm our fears, comfort our spirits, give us the strength and courage and attention to details so we can focus on our healing mission in this new space."

We heard from our nursing leaders coordinating the move that over the weekend they had the chance to tour some of the parents of children who will be moving, to get their new family ID badges taken care of and to help acclimate the parents to the new space.

"What a rewarding experience it was for me to be able to do that," Gretchen Koeman said. "The parents were so excited and so grateful." Sue Teman added, that she felt good to feel appreciated by the parents who said the tour helped alleviate their anxieties.

Over the weekend those of you in our Facebook fan community probably discovered that we have now reached 20,000 fans (which by the way is the 7th largest of any hospital in the nation).

I shared with my colleagues one Facebook comment from a mom that really touched me, and I hope, serves to remind all of us, that our work here is really a sacred trust with the families of our patients: "The service has always been excellent, my child has had 7 surgeries in two years, and more to come. The new building is beautiful but it is the superb staff who make all the difference."

Will you be following our progress tomorrow?

You can keep track of our move on Facebook and on our Twitter site. Look for #newhdvch on Twitter.

Today is a special day for me, personally as well. My son Lucas turns 11 today. Happy Birthday Lucas! It has been so wonderful to see this new children's hospital through his eyes, and that of my daughter, Sofina.

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