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Silver Cross Breaks Ground for New Hospital in New Lenox

Hospital builds on its Commitment to the Community with a 289-bed state-of-the-art facility

dsc_0253Silver Cross reached another milestone in its 113-year commitment to the Will County community as officials gathered Wednesday (Sept. 24) for a traditional groundbreaking ceremony for a state-of-the-art replacement hospital at Route 6 and Clinton Road in New Lenox.  Using the original shovel that broke ground for the current hospital in 1892, Dr. Daniel Gutierrez, Chairman of the Silver Cross Board of Directors, mixed Joliet soil with that of New Lenox forever linking the hospital’s past with that of its future.

“Over a century ago a small group of ordinary women did something extraordinary,” Dr. Gutierrez said.   “ They banned together to build a hospital that would serve the medical needs of tens of thousands of patients regardless of religious beliefs, race, social or economic status.  On Thanksgiving Day in 1895 the Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons presented the residents of Will County with a two-story, 33-bed hospital named after their emblem—the Maltese cross.

Thanks to the determination of these early pioneers their dream is still alive and continues to flourish today.  In July, Silver Cross received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board to build a $400 million 289-bed state-of-the-art replacement hospital just three and half miles down the road. With this new hospital, Silver Cross is ensuring that the community will continue to have access to quality healthcare and personalized service for many years to come. 

‘Can Do’ Spirit
Silver Cross President and CEO Paul Pawlak said that not many hospitals make the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals National Award list once.  “Few make it twice. A handful make it three times.  But Silver Cross has delivered ‘100 Top’ health care for our community four years in a row.  And not many hospitals have the opportunity to build a brand new facility, but Silver Cross is not like other hospitals. The culture of Silver Cross is the spirit of “can do” and this is the spirit we bring to improving the healthcare experience of our patients.”

That sentiment was echoed by Silver Cross Hospital’s Chief of Staff—Dr. Umesh Sharma,  “We will have state-of-the-art tools at our fingertips to keep Will County healthy.”

When open in early 2012, patients will benefit from spacious private rooms and the latest technology and treatments. There will also be doctors from Children’s Memorial Hospital at the new 70-acre campus so that area families won’t have to travel for pediatric specialty care.

“The new hospital is good for the entire community,” said New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann.  “The construction of the new Silver Cross Hospital will create over a thousand construction and healthcare jobs alone.”

Construction teams—employees, physicians and contractors, have been meeting around the clock to determine the best way to render care in the new facility.  “Staff has spent countless hours visiting other hospitals, testing new technology, and researching best practices to create an amazing experience for our patients,” said Pawlak. “Our promise to you is improved efficiencies and better outcomes in a safe environment.”

Community Celebration
Following the small ceremony at the construction site, guests were invited to a grand community celebration at the Joliet hospital where they could write their congratulatory wishes on a six-foot tall memory wall, which will be preserved in the hospital’s time capsule.  The 500-plus guests were entertained with performances by both the Joliet Township High School and Lincoln Way Central High School Marching Bands, and they participated in a toast to the future of healthcare.

To learn more about the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital, visit www.silvercross.org

Photo Caption:
Susan Mollick, President, Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons; Joan Butler, R.N., Graduate of the Silver Cross School of Nursing and 48-year Silver Cross Hospital employee; Alma Lauffer, Silver Cross Hospital In-service Volunteer; Katherine Pitcairn, President, Silver Cross Advisory Board; Robert Rogina, President, Silver Cross Foundation Board of Directors; Debbie Condotti, Chairperson of the Silver Cross Community Trustees; Paul Pawlak, President/CEO of Silver Cross Hospital; Daniel Gutierrez, M.D., Chairman of the Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors; Umesh Sharma, M.D., Silver Cross Hospital Chief of Staff; Timothy Baldermann, Mayor, Village of New Lenox; Margie Woods, Chairperson, Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission; Robin Hartney, President, Childerguild

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