Parkland Hospital Opens New Cutting Edge Facility

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DALLAS -- One of the country's most historic hospitals officially flatlined Thursday morning. The emergency room where John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead is officially closed.

It's all in the name of progress.

Nedra Washington was the first patient welcomed to the new cutting edge Parkland Hospital, which is just a sky bridge away.

“It's a whole lot better than what the last hospital was," Washington said. "It's like really amazing.”

By 10 a.m., Parkland announced the birth of its first baby.

Right after that, the first helicopter trauma patient arrived. Everything went without a hitch because the move into this $1.3 billion facility has been in the works for more than a year.

“The citizens of Dallas County have really never had a facility like this, and I think they're going to be really impressed when they see what Parkland looks like today," Chief of trauma Dr. Alex Eastman said.

The big move got some people, like JFK historian Farris Rookstool III, thinking about what happened here more than 50 year ago.

"Here you have the three principle people associated with November 22nd, President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby having died here at Parkland Hospital," said Rookstool.

So, what will happen to all the historically significant things at Parkland? Will the ER sign be taken down and auctioned off? Dr. Eastman says that decision hasn't been made yet.

"There's a lot of history in that building, and I think that all of us are keenly aware that those things need to be preserved."