That's how long it took to move 112 patients from Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center to Gulf Coast Medical Center on Sunday. That's four hours and almost 200 patients fewer than organizers initially estimated.
The emergency room at Southwest Florida Regional closed at 7 a.m.; by 3:30 p.m. the typically bustling, 34-year-old hospital was empty except for the staffers who stayed behind to complete the closure. As Southwest closed, the new $285 million, 436,000-square-foot expansion at Gulf Coast went fully online.It was a plan years in the making, initially laid out by Hospital Corp. of America, the former owner of the two hospitals. Lee Memorial Health System inherited the construction project and building closure plans when it bought the hospitals in 2006.