Unlike the move from Highland Ave to Independence Ave in 1917, the move to Hospital Hill required more assistance and planning since instead of moving one block patients would be moving across the city. Hospital planners spent a year preparing for the move, which they called "Operation Santa Claus". It was an all hands on deck situation, including help from the Red Cross and local ambulance companies.
Prior to Moving Day, 55 patients were temporarily discharged home. This left 39 patients who would need to be moved to Hospital Hill. The first patient left Independence Ave at 9 am on December 17, 1970. Two hours later all 39 patients were safely at the new hospital. Nurses and doctors accompanied patients during their transport across town. Once arriving at the new hospital patients were checked in by hospital administration staff before being taken up to their room. Hospital Director Ned Smull led the moving day efforts from the commander center set up in the new hospital's lobby.
This move to Hospital Hill signaled the beginning of a transformation for Children's Mercy: the transition from a charity hospital to a fully operational pediatric medical center.