DALLAS – Skyscrapers around downtown Dallas went purple Sunday night to herald the new Parkland Hospital.
The new public hospital was officially dedicated Monday. The 2.5 million-square-foot campus doubles the size of the old Parkland Memorial Hospital.
We're told the facility was designed to make people healthier faster. Most of the 862 rooms are private and come with a view. Each also has its own bathroom, shower and space for family members to spend the night.
"If the family can participate in care and they have a view to the outside and they have privacy, the length of stay goes down," Vice President of Parkland Facilities Lou Saksen said. "The use of narcotics, their perception of pain, goes down."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wrapped up the event by dedicating Parkland Hospital to the people of Dallas County. He says it will help create more equity in health care for the 133,000 working poor in Dallas County.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson said Parkland cares for almost 1 million patients a year and provides hundreds of millions of dollars in uncompensated health care.
Sheriff Lupe Valdez also spoke out, as did Parkland's CEO. Each spoke of Parkland continuing the tradition of leading the nation when it comes to health care.
The new Parkland was approved by Dallas County voters in November of 2008 and construction started in October of 2010.
It's the largest hospital construction project in the nation and cost about $1.3 billion -- that's just a little more than it cost to build AT&T Stadium.
Even though the hospital was officially dedicated Monday, it won't start accepting patients until Aug. 20.
Studies are underway to decide what to do with the old Parkland building.
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