Patients transported to new St. Elizabeth Hospital in O'Fallon, - KMOV.com

Patients transported to new St. Elizabeth Hospital in O'Fallon, Ill.

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the new St. Elizabeth's Hospital in o'Fallon, Ill. Credit: KMOV the new St. Elizabeth's Hospital in o'Fallon, Ill. Credit: KMOV
O'FALLON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Overnight in the East Metro, one hospital closed and another opened. The new St. Elizabeth Hospital officially opened at 4 a.m. on Saturday in O'Fallon, Ill.

The early morning hours were spent transporting all those patients into the new space. 

Twenty-one ambulances transported 57 patients from the Belleville to O'Fallon. Two patients were transported every 20 minutes.

"We've planned for months for this particular move and all of our hard work and preparations have indeed paid off," said Dr. Gary Hagen, the COO of St. Elizabeth Hospital.

The process started at 5 a.m. and finished around noon. 

Each patient that was transported between hospitals required different care during the transition.

"There were critically ill patients moved from the intensive care unit, as well as new moms, babies moved as well. I can tell you that the first patient moved this morning took exactly 15 minutes and went off without a hitch," said Hagen.

This first patient Dr. Hagen was referring to is Daniel Thelen.

"I was the guinea pig," said Thelen.

He's recovering from open heart surgery from a week ago.

"I'm feeling good and hopefully, if I do what I'm supposed to be doing, sometime next week, I'll be home," said Thelen.

It's for easy for everything to feel so familiar in a new building when Thelen, who's an Air Force veteran, sees his fellow comrades from Scott Air Force Base in the halls.

"So this is kind of an intermix between Air Force and civilians and I like it. I'm very comfortable with it," said Thelen. "The room was 68 degrees, or something like that, and she raised it to 72, feel it...it's comfortable, I mean it's instantaneous -- now that's nice."

The main part of the former hospital in Belleville will be demolished. Demolition is expected to start soon and will take up to a year for the space to be cleared. Two administrative buildings be renovated and turned into out patient care.

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