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February 4--  Today was moving day for patients at Meadows Regional Medical Center in Vidalia.

{mosimage}Hospital officials started moving patients from the old hospital on Meadows Lane to the new medical center on Highway 280 before dawn this morning.  The first transfer patient arrived at the hospital at 5:04 a.m. (Photo by Elizabeth Harvill)

Shirley Hoskins, head of nursing, says it went like clockwork.  "Well, we moved 30 patients in three-and-a-half hours. We also had new patients come to the new emergency room, we had one emergency surgery and one person who had to go to the cardiac cath lab in the middle of all that, so we've have a very busy morning.  We've also got a mother in labor so we hope to have our first baby delivered today," she said.

Hoskins thanked SouthStar and Toombs County EMS for their help in making the morning go smoothly.  "SouthStar did the planned moving and we had EMS involved in bringing patients into the emergency room, so we were using both ambulance services during the move and they both did a fantastic job," she said.

Practice makes perfect and Hoskins reports they've been practicing moving patients on a large scale and that  paid off. "It went off without a glitch and we had it so orchestrated our patients were eating breakfast in their new rooms by eight o'clock," she said.

"It's an outstanding start.  We're all very excited and happy to be here and have this hospital open for the community," the chief nurse said.