Cottonwood Hospital Prepares to Close its Doors Forever

Cottonwood Hospital Prepares to Close its Doors Forever

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Ed Yeates ReportingThere's a big event coming up on Monday. Utah's newest and largest hospital will open its doors to patients. But as it does, another with a lot of memories closes forever.

Cottonwood opened its doors for the first time 44 years ago. It was an honest-to-goodness real community hospital nestled in the suburbs. But it's all over now.

Tina Tasso-Varner, with Cottonwood Hospital human resources, said, "It's a little unreal. I don't know that it will hit me until we don't come back. But there's real feelings. I can imagine there will be a lot of tears as people leave the building for the last time."

Sure, there's excitement, moving into the brand new medical center down the road, but still..

Pat Westlake, Cottonwood Hospital volunteer administrator, said, "It's hard moving, kind of like a small town to a big city kind of feel."

It's not easy, because unlike LDS Hospital that will stay open, Cottonwood goes away forever.

David Grauer, a Cottonwood Hospital administrator, said, "There are people who have worked here for a long time who've had significant life events here. And for them that will be an emotional day as we close our doors for the last time."

In Surgery Waiting, nobody is waiting. ER has notified EMTs to try to transport emergencies to other hospitals this weekend.

Dr. Jeff McNally is ready to make the move, but he too feels nostalgic. "To have this place, to have been here and been established as it's been, and have the community feel that it has, it won't be the same. I'm really going to miss it," he said.

Again, the hospital closes as of 6:00 a.m. on Monday. To make sure, several days after the patients have moved out, the lobby will be sealed off with a wall.

"At the end of the day, this hospital will no longer be licensed as a hospital," Grauer said.

TOSH, an outpatient surgery center, and doctors' clinics will remain, but Cottonwood Hospital and what was the area's first home-like women's center will be torn down.

About 200 patients will be transferred from LDS and Cottonwood Hospitals to the new Intermountain Medical Center. Ambulances and Life Flight also will begin the move at 6:00 a.m. on Monday.

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