Mercyhealth opens Riverside hospital Saturday, prepares to move Rockton patients

ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR)--- Mercyhealth's Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic-Riverside opens its doors Saturday morning.

The new facility opens to the public at 7a.m. Patients from the Rockton campus will begin to move into the new hospital starting at 5 a.m.

Those patients include pediatrics, critically ill and obstetrical patients. All other patients will remain at the Rockton campus.

This move has been planned for longer than a year and half. Employees and partners had to undergo extensive training and drills to ensure patient safety,

Patients will be transported every five minutes in a superior ambulance and with a nurse on board. Leaders say the main priority is the patients' safety.

"During this move, it's very important to everyone to understand that patient safety is really paramount. We have put in all types of safe guards with our drills to make sure that the patients are transported very safely from one area to another," said Dr. John Dorsey of MercyHealth.

The hospital will count on the help of an additional 500 volunteers to move patients, in addition to drone surveillance and the Rockford and Loves Park Police Departments.