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Silver Cross Gives Back with New Hospital & $30 million in Charity Care/Community Benefit

Joliet, IL (March 24, 2011)— For over 115 years, Silver Cross has been devoted to providing all Will County residents with high quality healthcare.  Scheduled to open on February 26, 2012, the Silver Cross Replacement in New Lenox is being built to help patients heal faster and improve patient satisfaction. 

“We have taken our 6 time 100 Top Hospital Award winning care and all the elements that have made us one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals and packaged them into a brand new hospital in New Lenox,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.

The 70 acre medical campus is the hospital’s gift for future generations.  The new hospital located at I-355 and Route 6 has been designed to better service patients and their family members.  The large, private family-friendly rooms will be able to accommodate more procedures at the bedside and provide acuity adaptable care.  This means that each room will have the space, supplies and staff to deliver the appropriate level of care to the patient rather than transfer the patient between units as needs change—allowing patients a greater chance to heal faster and go home sooner.

And, the new hospital has been designed to be more efficient so that patients and family members won’t have to wait unnecessarily for care or results.  Patients are already experiencing this in the Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health, which opened on the new hospital campus on 2009.  The spa-like facility offers the latest breast cancer testing available—full field digital mammography, as well as breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, bone densitometry and baseline heart screenings. Diagnostic test results are available the same day as your appointment and screening results within just 24 hours. And before a woman ever leaves the Center, she has the opportunity to consult with a board certified radiologist or meet with a certified breast health nurse to assist with the next steps in her care. There is even a hotline patients can call to hear her screening mammography results helping to alleviate any anxiety.

“The women’s center offers patients a glimpse into what the care will be like when the hospital opens next year,” says Pawlak.  “Our goal is to provide an unrivaled healthcare experience for every patient every time.”

In addition to expanding women’s services, Silver Cross has formed partnerships with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to build a cancer center,  and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) to enhance inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, and Children’s Memorial Hospital for pediatric services.  There are currently 32 pediatric specialists with Children’s Memorial seeing patients on the New Lenox hospital campus.

Committed to Caring for the Community
If building a new hospital wasn’t enough, Silver Cross has continued its 115-year commitment to the community with nearly $30 million in charity care and other community benefit.  Last year, the hospital provided more than $8 million in charity care, (the cost of healthcare given free of charge) to over 2,000 people—far exceeding its annual $4 million pledge made back in 2008.  Silver Cross also provided more than $14 million in unreimbursed services at costs through the Medicaid and Medicare programs—a 44% increase from the previous year.

In addition to charity care and government sponsored indigent care, Silver Cross gave more than $16 million in other community benefit, which included free and subsidized health services, programs and screenings to more than 8,500 people in Will County. 

Locally, Silver Cross Hospital has been extremely active in the community over the years with employees serving in key leadership roles on the New Lenox, Manhattan, and Homer Glen Chambers of Commerce as well as other civic and service organizations.  Silver Cross has also worked closely with many of the schools to participate in free health fairs and career days.  In fact, over the past decade, Silver Cross has partnered with the Lincoln-Way High School District to provide a semester-long internship for students.  Three mornings a week, 20 Lincoln-Way East High School students set aside their text books and come to Silver Cross Hospital for real-life lessons.  The free program offers a valuable experience and great opportunity for seniors enrolled in human anatomy and physiology class allowing them real insight into medical careers.  Over the years, many of the students have gone on to pursue careers in the healthcare field with several returning home to care for patients at Silver Cross.

In addition to training high school students, for over 30 years, Silver Cross has served  as the resource hospital for the Will-Grundy Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System training hundreds of  paramedics servicing the residents of Homer Glen, Manhattan, Mokena and New Lenox and many other communities.  Silver Cross also operates the first 24/7 free-standing emergency care center in the state located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen.  Since opening in 2009, the Emergency Care Center has treated over 10,000 patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries.  The emergency medicine doctors, nurses and staff have also gone out to local schools, sports teams, retirement homes and other community organizations to provide free health education and screenings.  And on April 17, the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Center staff will be participating in the Lockport Township High School 5K.

“Giving back to our community is a strong and vital part of our mission to provide quality healthcare services for all,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital.  “Whether it’s in the form of a brand new hospital or free blood pressure checks, we want to make sure that we are delivering an unrivaled healthcare experience.  Not only is it good business—but it is the right thing to do for our family, friends and the community at large.”

To learn more about how Silver Cross gives back to the community and updates on the replacement hospital, visit www.silvercross.org. For a free referral to a physician on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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