Intermountain Medical Center Set to Open Next Monday as Crews Prepare for Carefully Planned Air and Ground Transport of Patients to New Medical Campus

Jess Gomez

 (801) 507-7455


Murray, UT (10/29/2007) — Monday will be a busy and historic day as Intermountain Medical Center opens, and simultaneously, Cottonwood Hospital closes after 44 years of service to the community.


After a little more than five years of construction and 10 years of planning, Intermountain Healthcare's new state-of-the-art Intermountain Medical Center in Murray opens to patients next Monday at 6 a.m.

Monday will be a busy and historic day as Intermountain Medical Center opens, and simultaneously, Cottonwood Hospital closes after 44 years of service to the community.

The new Intermountain Medical Center, located near 5300 South and State in Murray, was built to better serve the region's fast-growing population. It features five comprehensive specialty hospitals on one campus and is designed to enhance health-care services for both inpatients and outpatients. It will serve as a regional referral center for patients throughout the Intermountain West. It's one of the most technologically-advanced and patient-focused medical centers in the country, with robotic surgery, high-tech cancer treatment, and state-of-the-art computerized medicine.

On Monday, years of training and preparation will be put into action as doctors, nurses, support staff, Life Flight crew members, drivers and paramedics from Gold Cross Ambulance, and others transfer an estimated 200 hospital patients from Cottonwood Hospital and LDS Hospital to Intermountain Medical Center.

While LDS Hospital remains open as a full-service community hospital, acute-care patients in units moving to Intermountain Medical Center will be transferred to the new campus. This includes patients in LDS Hospital's newborn ICU, critical care ICUs, transplant medical/surgical units, shock/trauma ICU, etc. Cottonwood Hospital will close on Monday after the last patient is transported to Intermountain Medical Center.

Hospital planners have been working on the move for the past three years and have planned for every possible scenario through tens of thousands of hours of training and preparation. Patient safety is the highest priority, according to move manager Sean Murray.

"Everything has been planned to transport patients in the very safest and most efficient manner possible," Murray says.

Planners will guide the move from strategic command centers at LDS Hospital, Cottonwood Hospital and Intermountain Medical Center. There they will be able to monitor every patient condition through a computer program known as DIG that tracks each patient, including their medical condition and the mechanics of each move. Each of the 14 ambulances, donated by Gold Cross for use in the move, is outfitted with GPS devices that will allow the teams to monitor the vehicle's precise location at all times.

"Intermountain Healthcare is very appreciative to Gold Cross Ambulance for their community support and donation of equipment, vehicles and staff, which is worth more than $200,000," says David Grauer, chief executive officer of Intermountain Medical Center.

Details of the patient move:

  • Intermountain Medical Center opens on Monday, October 29, at 6 a.m.
  • The new ER at Intermountain Medical Center opens at 6 a.m. and Cottonwood's Emergency Room will close at exactly the same time.
  • Cottonwood Hospital will close after the last patient is transported to Intermountain Medical Center.
  • Starting at 6 a.m. staff at LDS Hospital will begin loading acute-care adult patients into Gold Cross ambulances through the LDS Hospital emergency department.
  • Patients will be transported to Intermountain Medical Center in regular intervals.
  • Gold Cross is working with the Utah Highway Patrol to ensure quick and safe transportation corridors.
  • Gold Cross will transport patients to the new campus along a route on Interstate 15.
  • Each patient will be accompanied by a clinical support team that matches their acuity - with full Life Flight support for all critically-ill patients.
  • About 20-30 babies in the newborn ICU at LDS Hospital will be transferred to Intermountain Medical Center by Life Flight helicopters with specially-trained medical personnel aboard.
  • The helicopters will leave the helipad atop LDS Hospital and land at the new ground-level helipad outside the emergency and trauma entrance at Intermountain Medical Center.
  • One baby will be transported at a time.
  • At Intermountain Medical Center, teams will be awaiting all patients to get them into their new location as quickly as possible.
  • As soon as the patient transfer is completed at LDS Hospital, patients at Cottonwood Hospital in Murray will be transported to Intermountain Medical Center.
  • That move should begin later Monday afternoon when traffic is lighter.

Oct. 29 was chosen as the move day for significant reasons: The weather is likely to be good, it's before the holidays, and the number of patients in the hospital, on Mondays, is typically lower than other days. The hospitals are also preparing for the move in other significant ways: LDS and Cottonwood will be postponing some elective surgeries this week so that fewer patients stay overnight and will need to be transferred.

By Monday evening, operations will continue at LDS Hospital, but Cottonwood Hospital will close its doors after a wonderful legacy of quality care to the community for more than four decades. And a new legacy begins as Intermountain Medical Center begins to provide of state-of-the-art care for patients throughout the Intermountain West.


Monday, Oct. 29, move begins at 6 a.m. at LDS Hospital Emergency Department (east side of hospital).
Intermountain Medical Center

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