The RunDown

The RunDown

RD Helps Move Entire Hospital in One Day!

Courtesy of X
A tweet from Valley Hospital’s X account, celebrating the move.

On March 14th, students at River Dell were given the opportunity to build their resume, gain 5x service hours, and be a part of history by signing up to help the monumental move of Valley Hospital from Ridgewood to Paramus. Over the last 73 years, Valley Hospital, that started out with just 108 beds, blossomed into a $1.2 billion dollar revenue-producing powerhouse.

This new $868 million dollar facility is seven floors tall and spans  910,000 square feet—an immense upgrade from the old location. It features double the number of exam rooms, 370 inpatient rooms, and even a MRA machine in the OR to increase success in neurological procedures.

The process to be cleared to assist in the move was extensive and, oftentimes, during school hours which pushed away many students from proceeding any further. Students were required to attend an informational session via zoom, go on a hospital tour, and get medical clearance. Proof of vaccination against the flu and COVID, immunity towards MMV, and a QTB blood test were all required for all student-helpers to be medically cleared.

“It was hard to get all my medical forms in and get the blood test in on time because they did not offer it over the weekend, so I had to find time during the school week during working hours to go,” complained a Junior who volunteered.

At 6am, on Sunday, April 14, the Paramus Valley Hospital officially opened its doors. Volunteers woke up as early as 4 am to make it before incoming patients arrived.

This transition required years of planning by Valley Staff that included aspects that people may not think about. One of which was the time of day. Sunday was purposely picked due to the Blue Law in Bergen County which mandates that many businesses remain closed, allowing the three-mile route from Ridgewood to Paramus to be as clear as possible for the move.

All in-patients at Valley Hospital of Ridgewood were transported by ambulance on one of three routes; all of which had multiple checkpoints for healthcare workers with equipment along the way in case a patient required additional medical attention.

River Dell students were grouped together and assigned the 4PM-8PM shift of being a Wayfinder. Patients were welcomed by groups of endearing students in bright blue shirts that read VOLUNTEER across the back. Those patients were then led to the registration desk where they received a new ID badge with the floor, wing, and room number on it.

The new facility features a North, South and West wing, along with many elevators and hallways that can easily confuse new patients. That’s where the students came into play. All visitors were escorted to their loved ones and were shown how to find the room by themselves in the future.

Donna Dwyer, a Manager of Revenue Cycle at Valley Hospital, also the LEAD of the 2nd Floor Lobby Volunteers, added, “A lot of people that work at valley stay for 20-40 years, so to move out of the building that has been there for 70+, while it’s so exciting, is also bittersweet for everyone.”

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