Baylor Medical Center at McKinney had planned to open at 5 a.m. Friday, but when a patient arrived at the Emergency Room at 4:15 a.m. needing care, the staff sprang into action -- and the new hospital opened early.

The ER patient was treated and went home, and the hospital got busier as the day wore on, said Jennifer Irwin, Marketing Manager at Baylor McKinney.

As of 2:30 p.m., three babies had already been born at the brand-new hospital. 

"Everything has run very smoothly," Irwin said. "It's like Christmas Day for our staff. They were so excited to have patients to care for."

Irwin said staff members at the 469,000-square-foot facility had spent about a month away from patient care as they were trained and readied for the hospital's July 6 launch. So, having the opportunity to get back to what they most love made the staff happy, Irwin said.

Baylor Health System's Twitter feed was already full of photos of the opening day, showing smiling patients, doctors and nurses. A Dallas television station, CBS 11, covered the opening day, and Irwin described happy, emotional scenes as patients described what the new hospital meant to them. One patient, she said, felt that God had brought her to the new hospital.

"It has been an awesome day," Irwin said.

While the much-anticipated Baylor Medical Center at McKinney is new to local residents, the Baylor Health Care System has served North Texas for more than a century. Its honors include being ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” and being the first health system in Texas to receive a prestigious National Quality Forum award.

The $195 million new facility in McKinney is located at the northwest corner of U.S. 380 and Lake Forest Drive. The modern building initially features a full-service 95-bed facility, multiple surgical units and a medical office campus. Officials broke ground in September 2010 on Baylor’s McKinney campus.

For more information about the new hospital, read McKinney Magazine's story about Baylor at McKinney by clicking here.