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Dr. Mullen's $1 Million Gift

mullen(April 20, 2000)- Retired Silver Cross radiologist, Wylie H. Mullen, M.D., has been a driving force for over half a century in the advancement of medicine. Most recently, he pledged $1 million to assist in the funding of Silver Cross Hospital's new state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging center opening this Fall.

"I have done well as a physician and businessman throughout my life and wanted an opportunity to give something back to Silver Cross, my colleagues and the community," said Dr. Mullen. "Silver Cross' new imaging system is a worthwhile project to do just that."

In appreciation for the gift, the hospital will be naming the new high-tech center, the Wylie H. Mullen, M.D., Diagnostic Imaging Center at Silver Cross. The $4 million, 4,600 square feet center will feature a new MRI and two CT units. This cutting edge technology will decrease patients testing time while creating a calming and non-invasive atmosphere using a holistic approach. Patients will have the opportunity to alleviate claustrophobia while gazing at ceiling murals, which give the appearance of looking out a skylight at colorful treetops. Aromatherapy and music will also be available in the new Center, and patients and physicians alike will benefit from the "slice" technology yielding images unsurpassed in the industry.

Dr. Mullen and the late Dr. Robert Geist came to the Joliet area from the Cleveland Clinic. They brought new procedures and equipment to the Silver Cross Radiology Department such as closed circuit remote television fluoroscopy, contrast arthroscopy, nuclear medicine (including radio-immuno assays, ultrasound as well as acquiring one of the first cobalt therapy units for radiation therapy and radium for uterine therapy. In the 1970s, Dr. Mullen arranged for Silver Cross Hospital's first CT scanning equipment before it was mainstream at community hospitals. Drs. Mullen and Geist actively selected outstanding qualified physicians for the group which became Associated Radiologists in Joliet-the same group of physicians who provide radiology and imaging services at Silver Cross Hospital today. His wife, Shirley, worked as an X-ray technician at the hospital for many years and currently volunteers throughout the community and on the Silver Cross Celebrity Spotlight Committee raising funds for the hospital's Lifeline Program-a medical emergency response system for the home."

As Dr. and Mrs. Mullen were an instrumental part of Silver Cross Hospital's rich history, it is only fitting that they be an integral part of the hospital's future as we progress into the new millennium," said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital and Medical Centers. "We are grateful for their generosity and the contribution it will make in advancing world-class health care at Silver Cross for our local residents.

Not only is Dr. Mullen an advocate for the betterment of health care, but he is a sharp businessman. His talents as a radiologist gave him the seed money to invest in several corporations including Joliet Matallurgical Laboratories, a highly technical metal stress testing laboratory for that tests superalloys at elevated temperatures for jet engines and power plants including General Electric and Rolls Royce, where he continues as CEO. And at one time, Dr. Mullen was a founding member and the major stockholder of Joliet Avionics, now JA, located at DuPage County Airport; had a seat on the Midwest Stock Exchange; owned a farm, a Cadillac-Chevy dealership; and a disposable needle plant.

Dr. Mullen's second love, after medicine, is aviation. He is past vice president of the Flying Physicians and past president of Mainline Aviation, which operated the Joliet Airport in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His aviation association began in Iowa in 1941 and to date; Dr. Mullen has accumulated 11,500 flight hours in airplanes, gliders and helicopters.

He shares his love of medicine with his son, Dennis, who is a pathologist in Seattle, and his love of flying with one of his three daughters, Nancy, who is a retired pilot for US Air. Nancy was also former Silver Cross Medical Technologist, and her sister, Barbara, spent a year at Silver Cross performing social work. As a flight instructor for 47 years, Dr. Mullen also taught Dennis, Nancy and his grandson, Andrew, to fly. Dr. Mullen and his wife have traveled in their own airplane all over North, Central and South America and have traveled commercially throughout all seven continents and over 120 foreign countries.

Plans for the dedication ceremony for the Wylie H. Mullen, M.D., Diagnostic Imaging Center will coincide with its opening this Fall. For more information,contact the Silver Cross Foundation at (815) 740-7105.

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