Silver Cross’ History
Over a Century of Caring for Our Community
1890—Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons organized; five years spent in planning.
1892—Shovel Day Groundbreaking.
1893—Construction begins for new hospital.
1895—Silver Cross admits first patient. First operation performed. School of Nursing opens. Silver Cross is now a 33-bed, 2-story hospital. The logo is the King’s Daughters emblem—the Maltese Cross. Silver Cross Hospital is completed at a cost of $39,907.07 and through prudent management is completely debt free. Miss Mary A. Porter and Miss Margaret Main become the first Silver Cross nurses to receive diplomas. Cornerstone placed and Silver Cross dedicated to serve the community.
1896—74 patients admitted, 34 operations performed.
1897—First class graduates from Silver Cross Hospital School of Nursing. Advisory Board inaugurates the first Trolley Day to raise funds for the hospital.
1919—North wing construction and improvements cost $165,688.
1922—Average stay is 22 days, 219 babies born, 46 nursing students, 1,683 patients admitted.
1925—First Childerguild Ball held at Dellwood Park.
1934—Holly Club, Childerguild and the King’s Daughters combine resources to provide free hospitalization for 1,250 children.
1940—Obstetrical wing added. Katherine Miller Woodruff Nursery constructed, equipped and dedicated through her generous $4,000 gift; new shock-proof X-ray equipment purchased for $5,000; 24 nurses graduate; first issue of Silver Linings published.
1944—First portable X-ray machine used.
1946—Average cost per patient day is $9.39.
1949—Blood Bank opens at Silver Cross.
1950—Hospital operates 175 adult beds. Childerguild opens a gift shop in the hospital Lobby.
1952—Physical Therapy Department opens.
1954—Silver Cross dedicates flag pole on Walnut Street to nurses for serving in World War II.
1955—First Cystoscopic table with X-ray capabilities, cost is $22,000.
1958—New diagnostic and treatment wing costs $675,000. Cobalt Theratron installed in Radiology, cost is $35,000.
1959—Post-operative recovery room costs $15,000. School of X-ray Technology approved by American Medical Association. First disaster plan developed and implemented. Post-operative recovery room donated by Childerguild, costs $15,000. School of Medical Technology starts at Silver Cross Hospital. Mobile emergency systems set-up for disasters. Installation of IBM program in business office. In-service volunteer program begins at Silver Cross. General dictating for medical staff is used. Patient’s library opens.
1960—First mock disaster drill is performed.
1961—Advisory Board Encore Shop opens. New surgical suite expansion made to fourth floor.
1963—Largest fallout shelter in Will County is Silver Cross Hospital. Chapel is completely paid for and donated by Advisory Board. First fluoroscopic and radiographic unit with closed circuit television recoding on tape cost $75,000.
1965—Building One (Francis Pavilion) cost $9.5 million to build.
1966—First Inhalation Therapy Department established. New food cart allows for warm and cold areas on same cart. Magnascanner introduced to Silver Cross for mapping small amounts of radioactive isotopes.
1967—Dorris Mullen Heliport dedicated on top of third floor (only woman helicopter pilot in Joliet). Pocket pagers play a role in nursing communication. EEG Laboratory established. Shovel Day for breaking ground on Building One—the same shovel used in 1892. Telephone recorder system is installed permitting physicians to phone in orders to go in patient’s chart.
1968—New Cardiac and Intensive Care Unit opens.
1969—New X-ray image intensifier purchased for operating room.
1970—After 75 years of training nurses, School of Nursing closes and transforms into Professional Building. Over the years, Silver Cross graduated approximately 985 nurses. Building One completed with 180 beds; patients move into new building.
1972—Encore Shop moves into Professional Building. Mobile Intensive Care program network begins.
1973—Hemodialysis unit opens. Department of Nuclear Medicine developed.
1975—Celebrity spotlight organized.
1977—New surgical suite opened. New CT scanner installed.
1978—Medical Arts Building opens West Wing.
1979—Ultrasound imaging begins at Silver Cross; Medical Arts Building completed.
1980—Student Nurse program implemented.
1981—Rabbi Morris M. Hershman elected president of Board of Directors (1981-1997).
1982—Outpatient department opens. Silver Cross Hospital School of Medical Technology graduates the last class. New endoscopy service offered at Silver Cross. First baby born in new birthing center.
1983—18-bed, adult patient alcohol and chemical dependency program started.
1984—Wilmington Health Care Center opens. First alcohol and chemical dependency program for adolescents opens, unit accommodates 10-16 patients. Fifth floor OB unit opens. New procedure is introduced—videofluoroscopy (speech swallows). New laboratory facilities open. New Acuson 128 computed sonography system installed in Ultrasound.
1985—New Gamma camera installed in Nuclear Medicine. Homer clinic opens. Health Service Medical began on Barney Drive, later moves to 1051 Essington Rd.
1986—New special procedures Department opens in Radiology with Digital capabilities. Silver Cross Home Health Department begins. Charles W. Hoffman Cancer Center dedicated. Silver Cross becomes a Level II Trauma Center.
1987—New Mobile MRI offers high-tech convenience to patients. 26-bed pediatrics department opens. MedWorks Occupational Health program started.
1988—Lemont Clinic becomes part of HSSI. Cardiac Rehabilitation begins offering patients Phase II care. Laser surgery comes to Silver Cross.
1989—Psychiatric unit opens (20 beds). Opening of new Radiology Department. X-ray technology on wheels travels to Silver Cross Hospital & Clinics (MTI Mobile Technology, Inc.). Gateway opens as health resource center at Jefferson Square Mall. Silver Cross Hospital takes over Romeoville Clinic. New Spect Imaging offered in Nuclear Medicine. First Cardiac Cath performed at Silver Cross Hospital.
1990—New Patient Information System (Datacare System) installed. New Emergency Department completed. Silver Cross affiliates with the Northwestern Healthcare Network—the largest healthcare system in the Chicagoland area.
1991—Second Dialysis Center opened—Renal Center West. New Lenox clinic opens. Silver Cross sponsors 475 MASH Unit during Gulf Crisis, donates over $4,000 to this unit.
1992—Physical Therapy expands to satellite clinics. Two mobile Mammography units begin traveling to clinics.
1993—Electronic thermometers & plastic IV bags introduced at Silver Cross.
1994—Manhattan Clinic opens. New AT&T telephone system installed. Silver Cross engages Press, Ganey for new customer service program. Silver Cross partners with the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch (CINN) to form a Neurosurgery Center of Excellence. This is CINN’s first convenient location.
1995—New information system installed (Meditech). New ICU opens. Silver Cross celebrates Centennial anniversary. Silver Cross partners with Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago for 24-hour in-house pediatric/neonatal services.
1996—Romeoville Medical Clinic closes. Silver Cross partners with Parkview Orthopedic Group—the team physicians for the Chicago White Sox to create an Orthopedic Center of Excellence. Silver Cross creates a Diabetes Center of Excellence. Silver Cross joins over 30 other area organizations to form the Partnership for a Healthier Community. Focus 2000 patient centered care model implemented in hospital. Emergency Department customer service recognized at annual Press, Ganey conference.
1997—Silver Cross receives highest survey score in hospital’s history from JCAHO. Hazel Francis donates 282 acres of land valued at over $7 million to Silver Cross Foundation. Silver Cross incorporates new logo and changes the name of its convenient locations to Silver Cross Medical Centers. Final beam placed on new Arthur & Vera Smith Pavilion. Silver Cross partners with Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University to form Silver Cross Cancer Center. Cardinal Sleep Center opens facility at Silver Cross. Silver Cross becomes show-site for Siemen’s E. Cam Imaging System. Employee Sharing Plan and Corporate Compliance programs implemented. Silver Cross received $100,000 gift from Mae B. Lloyd to fund the hospitals’ new Serenity Garden. Professional Building demolished to make room for new Outpatient Pavilion.
1998—92,000 sq ft, 3-story Arthur and Vera Smith Outpatient Pavilion opens; houses dialysis unit, main Lobby, Surgery and Diagnostic services; cost is $22 million. Silver Cross Medical Center—Channahon opens; cost is $1.5 million. First Silver Cross Medals of Excellence Awarded to former US Congressman George Sangmeister and George H Sehring, M.D. Building One renamed John E. and Hazel W. Francis Pavilion. Open MRI available at Silver Cross Medical Center—West Joliet. Silver Cross Renal Centers celebrate 25th anniversary of dialysis services. Telemedicine program allows rapid transmission of echocardiograms from Silver Cross to Children’s Memorial cardiologists. New radioactive Iodine 125 seed implant treatment for prostate cancer available at Silver Cross. James M. Stephenson, Jr. elected Chairman of Silver Cross Board of Directors (1998-2001). Silver Cross Diabetes Center of Excellence receives ADA recognition as its education program. Silver Cross launches website.
1999—Silver Cross Cancer Center selected participates in STAR clinical trial for breast cancer. Northwestern Healthcare Network disbands. Silver Cross Community Trustees formed. New 10-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit opens. Silver Cross Ultrasound equipment to Will County Health Department.
2000—No Y2K Bug after all. Third dialysis facility opens in Morris making Silver Cross the largest provider of dialysis in Will/Grundy counties.. New lymphedema program starts. Silver Cross Continence Center acquires NeoControl chair. Childerguild donates $90,000 toward OB unit renovation. Advisory Board completes $51,000 pledge for new surgical table. StealthSystem computer imaging equipment used to pinpoint brain tumors and spine disorder more effectively. Wyllie H. Mullen, M.D., gives $1 million for new CT/MRI diagnostic imaging center. Nursing staff cuts patient reporting time in half with new VoiceCare dictation system. Childerguild Gift Shop celebrates 50th anniversary. Will-Grundy EMS System celebrates 25 years of saving lives. New inpatient detox program started. Videoconferencing equipment gives patients access to top cancer specialists.
2001—Silver Cross chosen as Healthcare Advisory Board Beta Site for E-Strategies. New pain management guidelines implemented. Lincoln Way High School Internship Program starts. Silver Cross is one of only 3 hospitals in Chicago area to use Apligraf skin graft system. Russ Slinkard elected as Chairman of Silver Cross Board of Directors (2001-2004). Lasik surgery and carticel implantation available. Cancer Center participates in largest prostate cancer prevention trial (SELECT). New $6 million birthing center opens. Silver Cross dedicates new Chapel. ED reduces wait time with new patient tracking system and bedside admitting process. 300-stall parking lot opens. Emergency services recognized by State for Pediatric Care. Hospital acquires naming rights to Silver Cross Field. Lab adds eight new instruments.
2002—Third & fourth floor patient units remodeled. Silver Cross first is area to offer appointments for tests within 48 hours. LaVerne and Dorothy Brown pledge $1 million to fund new cardiovascular institute. Hospital policies and procedures available online. WESCOM nursing locator badges implemented. Silver Cross acquires PET mobile imaging system. Silver Cross on-site CNA program established. FAST TRACK registration program implemented. Frances Patterson leaves $1.4 million in estate gift. Birthing Center earns 5-star HealthGrades rating for quality of care. Physical Rehab and Performance Center takes new name, remodels and acquires new Hydrotack water exercise equipment.
2003—Specialty Care Pavilion and Brown Cardiovascular Institute opens. Chicago Consumers Checkbook rates Silver Cross as best hospital for customer service quality. Four dialysis stations added—Silver Cross now operates 44 dialysis stations. Illinois’ first mobile PET/CT showcased outside of hospital. Centennial Celebration of Silver Cross School of Nursing Alumnae Association; group disbands. Outpatient staff implements FISH! Philosophy customer service programs. First Tommy John and gastric bypass surgeries performed. Renal Centers win four awards from the Renal Network for quality patient outcomes. Employee Fitness Program begins. SBC Gives $22,500 grant for Staff Education Center.
2004—Silver Cross Pledges $450,000 for new Community Health Center. King’s Daughters and Sons Donates $12,700 for dialysis equipment. Named one of America’s Friendliest Hospitals by American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. First Woman/Nurse appointed Chairman of Silver Cross Board of Directors (Connie Curran). Three dedicated endoscopy suites opened. Nurses improve patient care with PalmCare hand-held wireless technology. Hospital holds Tort Reform Rally. Named a Solucient 100 Top Hospital Performance Improvement Leader. Childerguild completes $100,000 nursery renovation pledge. Lloyd W. Jessen Health Sciences Library replaced with new virtual library. Silver Cross featured nationally on ABC Family channel. Construction begins on new Francis Pavilion entrance and 35-bed patient care floor. First laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery performed.
2005—New operating room opens bringing the total to eight, with new room equipped with a Hydro ThermAblator System (HTA System), a new high definition monitor and camera. Room for laser eye surgeries added in Same Day Surgery. Silver Cross implements Computed Radiography. Information Systems develops virtual private networks for physicians to make Meditech available through a high-speed, broadband Internet connection, which wires at the physician’s home and/or office(s). Advisory Board Raises $64,000 for Surgical Equipment. Silver Cross Receives “Most Improved Wired” Award. State approves dialysis expansion to Silver Cross’ Westside Facility. Silver Cross offers free wireless access to patients and visitors. Adjustable LAP-BAND Weight Loss Surgery now performed at Silver Cross. King’s Daughters donates $15,000 for dialysis equipment. The Hoffman Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital offers m3® and BrainSCAN, an advanced cancer treatment system used in delivering precise high doses of radiation for the treatment of brain tumors. Silver Cross won three Aster Awards for its advertising and marketing efforts. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launches a new website (www.hospitalscompare.hhs.gov) enabling consumers to compare performance on 17 key measures of care for heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
2006—Surgical Services streamlines processes improving standards to surgical turn-around-times. Hospitalist program for adult medical/surgical patients starts. Silver Cross now offers soft mammograms with timely results by phone. Keck Emergency Pavilion Opens. King’s Daughters raises over $13,000 for SCH dialysis program. Silver Cross Hospital received a Silver Award for its “New Movers” direct mail campaign. First-ever Silver Cross Heart & Diamond 5K Run a Success. Emergency Department featured nationally on both NBC Nightly News and the Associated Press for innovation in using restaurant-style pagers for improving wait times. Silver Cross selected by the New Lenox Chamber of Commerce as the 2006 Business of the Year. Silver Cross Emergency sign has won a First Place award in the Illuminated Signage Category by the Illinois Sign Association. Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approves Silver Cross Certificate of Need request to build a replacement facility in Homer Glen.
2007— Silver Cross receives 100 Top Hospitals award from Thompson/Solucient for the third consecutive year and ranked first for customer service in consumer magazine. Silver Cross announces Replacement Hospital planned for 2012. Silver Cross creates Healthy Community Commission - non-profit partnership to focus on healthcare, job creation, economic opportunity. Silver Cross becomes a tobacco-free campus. Thousands attend Community Picnic & Safety Fair at Silver Cross. Silver Cross Hospital receives $20,000 innovative technology award from the AT&T Foundation. Childerguild raises over $113,000 at Annual Ball. Silver Cross opens 12 new dialysis stations on the west side of Joliet. Silver Cross first area hospital to install state-of-the-art high definition MRI system. Blue Cross Blue Shield names Silver Cross a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. Silver Cross Inpatient Rehab Unit integrates Wii into Physical Therapy routine. Employees participate in 2007 Customer Service Expo – Driving the Silver Cross Experience. Silver Cross Diabetes Education Program receives American Diabetes Association Recognition. Silver Cross Hospital receives Field Placement of the Year Award from Aurora University for its Partial Hospitalization Program. Advisory Board raises $56,000 for Silver Cross Mammography Processor. IT unveils employee Health eWay portal and computer based learning application Discovery eWay. Silver Cross first hospital in region to offer patients paperless, self-registration, QuickSilver. Silver Cross Hospital receives quality award from The Illinois Foundation for Quality Healthcare. Silver Cross Medical Professionals: Masters of Healing Sculpture Unveiled. Silver Cross implements community-wide health record allow doctors to share patient information through an electronic medical record. Silver Cross performs 3-D Mapping allowing physicians to view in real-time a three-dimensional map of a patient’s heart and then use the image to diagnose and treat complex heart rhythm problems. Silver Cross Earns Quality Respiratory Care Recognition in national program. Silver Cross wins national advertising awards and two Healthcare Advertising Awards. Silver Cross makes ADVANCE for Nurses Readers’ Choice Hospitals List. Lab awarded accreditation from the Joint Commission. Employees raise $38,000 for United Way of Will County. Silver Cross recognized nationally for excellence in treating congestive heart failure.
2008— State Board approves Silver Cross move. Silver Cross breaks ground for new hospital in New Lenox. Silver Cross announces a new $40 million charity plan. Silver Cross named Hospital of Choice. Silver Cross awarded Partners for Clean Air Award. Silver Cross, Children’s Memorial to bring more specialty services to state-of-the-art facility. Silver Cross announces $8 million to prepare current Silver Cross site for future development. Silver Cross, Joliet Junior College partner to offer scholarships to area students for Certified Nurse Assistant Program. Silver Cross among top hospitals for fourth year in a row. Silver Cross Partial Hospitalization Program receives state award. Silver Cross Hospital and Cardinal Fitness partner to offer discounted memberships to hospital staff. Laboratory improves turn-around times. Silver Cross performs innovative new procedure called pulmonary vein isolation, also known as Atrial Fibrillation Ablation. Illinois Foundation for Quality Health Care awarded Silver Cross’ Home Health Department three recognitions. First major liver resection using radiofrequency energy occurs at Silver Cross Hospital. Behavioral Health Services - Partial Hospitalization program receives state award. Silver Cross first to offer new REALIZE adjustable gastric band weight loss surgical procedure in Illinois.
2009—Joliet couple LaVerne and Dorothy Brown gives $1 million to fund Rehab Unit in Replacement Hospital. Silver Cross completes $260 Million bond issue for Replacement Hospital. Silver Cross named a 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the 5th consecutive year. Silver Cross employees help design interior of new hospital. Employees Play Active Role in Moving Replacement Hospital Forward. Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission celebrates 1-Year anniversary as it awards over $100,000 in educational scholarships and workforce development grants to several local organizations. Childerguild gives over $100,000 for Silver Cross Birthing Center. Large crowds attend grand opening celebration for Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen. Silver Cross Charity Golf Classic raises $138,000 for Replacement Hospital. Silver Cross supports Will County WorkForce Development summer internships. Silver Cross partners with National Hook-Up Black Women to increase literacy through Reading for Life program. Silver Cross Hospital wins state marketing Pinnacle Awards. Silver Cross overall patient satisfaction scores in the top 17% nationwide. Silver Cross quality core measure scores exceeded the state and national averages. Silver Cross Center for Women’s Health opens in New Lenox. Silver Cross inpatient market share leader for the past three years. Silver Cross forms new partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, the #1 Rehab Hospital in America. Silver Cross refreshed logo designed connecting past with future.
2010—Silver Cross named 100 Top Hospital for 6th Straight Year! Replacement Hospital Activation & Transition Planning underway to ensure smooth relocation to new campus. Replacement Hospital model of care chosen as Patient-Family Centered Care allowing staff to advance patient care. In first year of operation, Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center treats over 10,000 patients. Silver Cross re-designated as a Level II Trauma Center for Emergency Medical Services by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Silver Cross sets new record for re-establishing blood flow to a patient having a heart attack—36 minutes from time of arrival to opening of the arteries in the catheterization suite. Childerguild Gift Shop celebrates 60th anniversary. Silver Cross receives $10,000 donation from Grainger Foundation for Replacement Hospital Pediatric Unit. Childerguild gives over $93,000 for Birthing Center. New Silver Cross Hospital Intranet unveiled. Employees raise over $31,000 for United Way. Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons raises $9,550 for Silver Cross Renal Centers. Employee Engagement Team developed to improve employee satisfaction. Laboratory receives Joint Commission accreditation for Comprehensive Accreditation Manual. Childerguild celebrates 100th Anniversary. New Silver Cross Hospital Internet site goes live!