Only five people were hired directly from the Park City Medical Center's job fair last May, but the event began a three-month hiring process that netted 5,000 applications for only 200 positions.

The recession helped Intermountain Healthcare attract the cream of the crop to apply for positions, said medical center spokesperson Amy Roberts.

Good news for the local recession is about 66 percent of new hires are from Summit and Wasatch counties, said Rural Region Human Resources Director Bruce Dent.

That's 110 people out of the 166 or so that will join existing staff for a total work force of about 185 preparing for the hospital's opening in mid-September. When the center is operating at full capacity that will go up to about 225, Roberts said.

Those jobs span a variety of services offered at the medical center, Dent said. For example, in lieu of a cafeteria the hospital has a restaurant offering patients a greater variety of choices.

Dent said applicants expressed an interest in having the opportunity to work with brand-new equipment and be part of the creation of something new.

Roberts said she wanted to work for the hospital because it was a chance to be a part of a legacy in bringing more advanced health care to a community she lives in and knows needs it.

As she communicates with applicants, Roberts said she's also heard many people say they were excited about the stability the employment would bring. In this economy, people are tired of the seasonal work that

goes with to tourism.

One of the surprises that developed in the hiring process over past months was a decision to expand the nursing staff working with women and newborns, Dent said.

The facility has six rooms that can be used for labor and delivery. If it delivers just half of the current babies born in Summit County during its first year, those six will be more than enough, Roberts explained. Originally, IHC decided to staff the department conservatively, but instead, Dent now has at least two nursing positions to fill to reach the new goal.

A company only gets one chance to open a new hospital and IHC wants to make sure it does it right, Roberts explained.

Not every department is full of new faces. A few of IHC's clinics in Park City and Heber have been, or will be, moved into the medical center including orthopedic and physical therapy services.

According to Roberts, those transitions are a specialty of Dent's, who facilitated the transferring of trauma center staff from LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City to the new Intermountain Medical Center in Murray without layoffs.

To prepare for its opening, center staff have been busy with dry runs, mock scenarios and safety drills, Dent said. Actors were hired to play patients and give employees a chance to get used to the new environment, which for some older workers is going to be different from what they're used to.

Advances in hospital care have prompted designers to give patients more sunlight and exposure to the outdoors, more privacy and quieter hallways. Nurses have advanced computers and more efficient storage facilities, Roberts explained.

Not only must they adjust to their surroundings, but trainings were given on the mission, goals and values of IHC and the level of service it wants to provide, Dent said.

For information on openings Dent is still filling, visit www.intermountainhealthcare.org/jobs . As of Monday, they included nursing and patient-tech care specialist positions, housekeeping shifts, and a coding specialist.