Move day at Packard Children’s is here

Ninety-one patients safely transferred to new expansion of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford during carefully orchestrated move involving more than 500 staff members.

7 a.m.

Lights flicker in the dark windows in the expansion of the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. It’s early in the morning when transport leaders assemble at a central command center, the hub that will serve as the home base in the transfer of 91 pediatric patients into acute care units, pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units. Patient move day is taking place on a Saturday, when the patient census is at its lowest.

The new expansion at Packard Children’s lights up the night sky in the early hours on patient move day.

The new expansion at Packard Children’s lights up the night sky in the early hours on patient move day.

The day marks a significant milestone in the history of the hospital as the new expansion opens to patients, adding 149 new patient beds, and bringing the current total to 361 on the Palo Alto campus. More than a decade in the making, the new 521,000-square-foot expansion signals a new era in patient care, building upon the founding vision of Lucile Packard, and offering the country’s most technologically advanced, family-friendly and environmentally sustainable hospital for children and pregnant mothers.

7:05 a.m.

Nolan Murphy, 9 months, is the first patient to check in at the welcome desk in the new Main lobby, and is accompanied by his father Todd. He is here for a minor outpatient procedure, and is welcomed by Denny Lund, chief medical officer, and Kristen Petersen, vice president of operations for procedures and diagnostic services (pictured below).

First patient at Packard Children's

9:06 a.m.

With a pop of confetti and a hurrah, the first inpatient of the day begins his journey from the patient care unit (PCU) in the existing hospital, now called the West building, to the new hospital expansion, now called the Main building. William Aquino-Portillo’s departure initiates a string of transports that will take place every four minutes. He is accompanied by his mother, Maritza, the transport team, and Chris Dawes, president and CEO of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

William is the first to cross the threshold of his room in the new hospital expansion.

William is the first patient to be transported and to cross the threshold of his room in the new hospital expansion.

For months the team at Packard Children’s has been preparing for this moment, meticulously organizing timeliness, checklists, transfer routes and clinical operations for the move. A playbook details each second of the transfer with the goal to have each patient safely settled within five hours of the first patient transport. A series of mock patient moves in the days leading up to the hospital’s opening prepared care team members to transfer patients like William and others into the new units.

Next up is Jordy Gonzalez-Perez, a 10-year-old patient who has spent the last four months of his life at Packard Children’s. He is the fourth patient in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) to be transferred to the new hospital expansion. His move requires special oversight and care, as he is assisted by an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, which supports his lung function and breathing.

Today’s move to the new expansion will not be the most arduous journey Jordy has faced in the past year. He was airlifted from a hospital in his home state of Washington this past August, and flown to Packard Children’s to receive special care.

Yesterday his parents, Griselda and Teodoro, took down the decorations that adorned the walls of his room—a photo of his smiling classmates, well wishes from family and friends, drawings of SpongeBob SquarePants, and an array of cheerful holiday decorations. 

9:22 a.m.

Members of the transport team arrive to accompany Jordy down the hall, through a corridor connecting the West building and the new expansion, and up one floor in an elevator to Level 2, a California valley-themed floor reflective of the local ecosystem. Jordy is being moved on his bed, and will arrive at his new room without ever leaving the walls of the hospital. A bright red fleece blanket adorned with the Packard Children’s logo is laid out across his bed.

Members from care team accompany Jordy through the connection from the West building and into new expansion of Packard Children’s.

Members from care team accompany Jordy through the connection from the West building and into new expansion of Packard Children’s.

9:31 a.m.

Jordy’s transport team makes its way to his new room, arriving in approximately 18 minutes. Child life specialists and members from the patient experience team are standing by, welcoming Jordy and other patients with special swag. A few of the keepsakes include a Build-a-Bear wearing a red Packard Children’s t-shirt, and a retro viewfinder that showcases images of the hospital’s founder, Lucile Packard, as well as the new hospital expansion in 3D.

11:04 a.m.

In the PCU unit of the West building, it’s now 2-year-old Cameron Harris’s turn to begin his transport. Just days ago he was transitioned from the CVICU to the PCU, where he has been recovering from a heart transplant. To date he has spent more than 525 days in the hospital, with his mother, Nicola, and two sisters, Karlene (4) and Alivia (16 months) by his side. A state away, father and husband, CJ, cares for the three other Harris children, who live in the family’s Arizona home. They visit during school breaks, and will be reuniting with Cameron and the rest of the family at the hospital for the holidays.

The transport team arrives, signaling the family’s departure to the new expansion. The move is bittersweet for Nicola, who has found respite in the atrium sitting area outside of the CVICU in the West building. Here she has gained and given support to fellow parents. Laughed, cried, and paused for moments of reflection.

“It’s amazing here,” says Nicola. “The support that my family has been given has made living here bearable, and the transition moving over is so exciting, and something we’ve all looked forward to for a very long time.”

The transport team escorts Cameron and his family members to the new PCU. They arrive at Cameron’s new room, which is bright and spacious with built-in closets to store the family’s personal items. Nicola is excited about the two TVs in the new room, catering to both Cameron and his sisters’ individual viewing preferences. She is also pleased about the additional sleeping accommodations, comforts that will allow her to more easily remain at Cameron’s bedside.

Cameron, who is recovering from a heart transplant, is welcomed along with his mother, Nicola, into his new room in the PCU.

Cameron settles into his room in the new hospital expansion, his mother, Nicola, by his side.

1:36 p.m.

The final patient transport takes place, and the command center issues the final call on the overhead speakers: all transfers have been safely and successfully completed. Cheers from transporters, nurses, physicians and other staff members ring through the halls. The new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is officially open.

Staff celebrates the successful transport of 91 patients from to the new Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford expansions

Staff celebrates as move day comes to a close, following the safe and successful transport of 91 patients.

More is in store for the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, as constructions continues on parts of the Main building and awaited renovations kick off in the West building. Learn more about upcoming milestones, including the opening of the new Betty Irene Moore Children’s Outpatient Heart Center




2 Responses to “Move day at Packard Children’s is here”

  1. Star St.John

    Congratulations to you all! Doing the work of angels under the pressure of the opening deadline-Thank you for serving your patients and our community!
    With admiration and respect,
    Star St.John

  2. Ashley Boarman

    I know many months of planning went into this single day move. Congratulations to the entire team!


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