New Trios Health Southridge finally open!

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Dozens of patients will spend their first night at the new Trios Southridge Hospital. Many were moved there today. And the first ER patient walked in just before 7:00AM. KEPR was at both hospitals for the big opening.

Ambulances began lining up just after sunrise in front of the now old Trios Health Hospital located on Auburn Street in Kennewick. One-by-one patients were loaded into these Medstar Trucks and brought to the new Trios Health in Southridge on Plaza Way.

A potentially-frightening process with plenty of room for error. Extensive planning and preparation made it run smoothly for all.

The first ER patient did not come from one of the MedStar Transport vehicles. She was actually a walk-in patient at 6:45AM. She was also the first patient admitted to the hospital.

"The security guard came to the door and he says, can I help you!? And I said well the doctor told me that I was supposed to report here at 7AM and I realize I'm early so what am I supposed to do? But he was really nice enough to being me in and figure out what they were gonna do with me," said the first patient Carla Martin.

Carla wasn't the only 'first' Tuesday morning. Dr. Mahmoud Al-Hawamdeh was a part of history at Trios, too.

"He says, I'm the first doctor, and you're the first patient! And I said, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one!" said Martin.

"I was very excited to see our first patient and see the whole system flowing very nicely and every body was so excited to take care of our patients here in the hospital," said Dr. Al-Hawamdeh.

Before noon, 28 patients were transported from the old to the new. Plenty more walk-ins were in the waiting room. Diagnostics was up and running. Surgeons even had to perform an emergency surgery.

"It's taken us almost 3 months of training and orientation to the new building as well as the four years in planning to get to this point. So a lot of hard work by a lot of good people to get to this place," said the Executive Director of Support Services, Chuck Barnes.

"I think I actually might be able to sleep! It's big, and it's just so quiet!" said Martin.

A historic moment as the Tri-Cities welcomes its newest hospital to town.

The old Auburn campus is now called Trios Women's and Children's Hospital. The emergency room is now an urgent care.