New Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Open for Patient Care

The new, state-of-the-art Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital officially opened on March 3.

After eight years of planning, designing and building — and several months preparing to relocate patients — the new, state-of-the-art Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital officially opened on March 3. The hospital is a level II trauma center for the northern Illinois suburbs.

The hospital’s five interconnected pavilions provide an integrated foundation for inpatient and ambulatory care. The new structure also offers collaborative spaces for caregivers and staff, a reduction in ambient noise and improved control over indoor lighting in patient, visitor and staff areas.

The hospital was designed for physicians and staff to take advantage of the resources of an integrated academic health system. For example, video conferencing for staff and real-time video sharing in the operating rooms are available to enhance collaboration and care for patients.










“The design and technology of this new hospital will directly benefit our patients, and will allow us to provide a new level of care that we were not always able to do in our previous facility,” said Jeffrey Kopin, ’84 MD, ’88 GME, chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “Our patients always come first and were the cornerstone of each decision that was made in the development of this hospital.”

How to Move a Hospital

Even though the new hospital building is right next door to the old hospital, every detail had to be planned in order to move patients, open an emergency department and be prepared for all potential scenarios, like delivering a baby during move day.

The hospital’s Activation Leadership Team analyzed every piece of equipment in the old hospital and made a decision about what would be moved (and when), what would be added and what would be replaced.

“It [was]six months of planning for a six-hour move,” said Xuemei Cai, a procurement manager on the team. While arranging to move patient beds, for example, she timed how long it would take to strip a bed, move it down elevators, load it into a truck, navigate it to a staging area in the new hospital for a thorough cleaning and then deliver it to an assigned room.

Meanwhile, everyone who would work in the new hospital was required to participate in trainings. All nurses and patient care technicians practiced taking care of patients in the new facility during simulations using real patient actors. There was also a mock move six weeks before the real move day, allowing staff to practice relocating patients and identify areas for improvement.

All the preparation worked: Physicians, clinical care providers and non-clinical staff came together to safely move 71 patients by ambulances and wheelchairs through tunnels and elevators to their new rooms in 1000 North Westmoreland. Care stations were set up along the move routes to provide medical care as needed during transport.

The historic day was a coordinated effort that involved 659 staff members from Lake Forest Hospital and 114 volunteers representing 21 locations within the Northwestern Medicine healthcare system.

Read more details about the hospital move here.


The historic day was a coordinated effort that involved 659 staff members and 114 volunteers