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VIDEO: Drone timelapse of UPMC Memorial construction John Pavoncello, 717-505-5449/@Jpavoncello

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The new UPMC Memorial Hospital just opened — and it's already seeing plenty of action.

Eleven new emergency room patients were admitted to the hospital within 10 hours of its grand opening at 6 a.m. Sunday.

After construction lasting more than three years, UPMC unveiled its newest hospital in West Manchester Township, located at 1701 Innovation Drive. 

"The opening of the new hospital went smoothly," UPMC spokeswoman Kelly McCall said Sunday, Aug. 18. "With effective planning and the dedication of staff, all patients were safely transferred to the new facility by 11 a.m. today."

In addition to the 11 new emergency room admissions, 12 patients from the former facility were transferred to UPMC Pinnacle, according to McCall. 

The old UPMC facility, 325 S. Belmont St., officially closed at the same time the new hospital opened. The Spring Garden Township building is currently for sale.

In addition to the hospital's opening, a walking trail constructed by UPMC is now available to use. 

The paved, 3 mile trail loops along the outer perimeter of the hospital campus. McCall said both strollers and leashed pets are welcome to utilize the trail.

McCall described UPMC Memorial as having a modern design that features five levels of rooms accommodating 102 beds, cardiology and vascular services, maternity services, chronic disease management and surgical services.

Along the exterior, a large engraved design of a tree etched into the south side of the building can be seen in broad daylight and is illuminated by lights at night.

McCall said the "tree of life" design was chosen to inspire patients and family members seeking comfort and healing.

"Trees have long held symbolic meaning across cultures and faiths, including renewal, longevity and fortitude," McCall said. 

The etching is also where the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center can be found.

With construction starting in May 2016, UPMC was busiest during the week before opening because of transitions from the old to new hospital that needed to be carefully considered.

"With patient safety being our top priority during the transition, multiple teams have been working tirelessly to ensure our new hospital is ready for opening day," said UPMC spokeswoman Kendall Marcocci. 

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Transitions at the old hospital started Aug. 11, and walk-in emergency services continued there until Sunday morning. 

Though transitions with emergency medical service vehicles needed to be thoughtfully planned, York County spokesman Mark Walters said he didn't foresee any trouble regarding the transfer.

Marcocci said one of the primary reasons for moving locations is York County's growing population.

"During the last 20 years, UPMC Memorial Hospital saw the number of visits to its emergency department swell from 15,000 per year to about 45,000," she said. "And births have increased from 300 per year to now 500 per year."

The new hospital location also allows for an expansion in medical services, including heart catheterization labs, a larger emergency department and a critical care unit, Marcocci added.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

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