The morning dawned cold, clear and beautiful in Idaho Falls.
It was December 22, 1986 — and Hospital Moving Day, from the old Riverview and Parkview Hospitals, into the brand new Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Twenty-five years later, EIRMC has grown and matured into a highly-specialized regional healthcare hub, staffed and equipped to handle just about everything but organ transplantation and bad burns.
Back then, lines of ambulances lined up at the two old hospitals to transport patients to the new facility. Employees bustled and scurried, executing carefully-laid plans for patient transport and transition, hauling supplies and equipment, and getting everything sorted out in the new hospital.
Earlier that week, community tours provided a sneak peek of the new EIRMC for locals, who came in droves to catch a glimpse. Neighbors were scarce: in those days, there wasn’t any other “business” presence on the eastside — no mall, no theatres, no hotels, no restaurants.
Despite the massive undertaking of moving everything, the plan came off without a hitch. Lou Fatkin, a veteran administrator, remembers: “The clinical staff and the ambulances had our act together. We were in synch, and everybody did a beautiful job.”
And get this: nearly 80 employees who helped make the move and christened the new hospital still work at EIRMC – our most seasoned and knowledgeable veterans. They look back with pride about their teamwork, then and now.
Were you one of those employees back then? We’d love to hear your memories.
Even better, were you one of the patients who made the move with us? Please comment on this post with what you can remember. We want to preserve this rich piece of Idaho Falls’ history.
At EIRMC, we honor our roots, and embrace our future. Thank you for entrusting your care to us. It’s a privilege we take seriously, and work hard to earn anew every day, with every patient.
Happy 25th Anniversary, EIRMC. And we’re still going strong, after all these years.