Published on October 31, 2017

Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital

Silver Cross Hospital and US HealthVest held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital on Wednesday, October 25. The 100-bed, free-standing psychiatric hospital will expand inpatient and outpatient services for mental health and substance abuse issues in Will and Grundy counties. 

silver oaks groundbreaking ceremony
Right to left: Timothy Baldermann, Mayor, Village of New Lenox; Dr. Richard Kresch,, President/CEO, US HealthVest; Larry Walsh, Will County Executive; Ruth Colby, President/CEO, Silver Cross Hospital; Mary Totten, Secretary, Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors; Jean Kenol, Member, Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors; Al McGowan, First Vice Chairman, Silver Cross Hospital Board of Directors; and Reverend Herbert Brooks, Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission Member break ground for the new Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital on Oct. 25, 2017.

US HealthVest has a proven track record of working with existing medical providers to expand psychiatric and substance abuse services and access to care. US HealthVest operates Chicago Behavioral Hospital, a 138-bed psychiatric hospital in Des Plaines, IL. US HealthVest also operates two psychiatric hospitals in Atlanta, a psychiatric hospital near Seattle and is in the process of developing several more psychiatric hospitals across the country.  

“Silver Cross is dedicated to meeting the mental health and substance abuse needs in this community,” said Ruth Colby, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “The leaders of this village and county care deeply about the quality of life for the people who reside here. With our partner, US HealthVest, this behavioral health hospital will provide expert mental health and substance abuse services for everyone who needs it.” 

“We have a common interest in that we accept all patients without regard to insurance or lack of insurance,” said Dr. Richard Kresch, psychiatrist and President and CEO of US HealthVest. “So no patient in need of care, who meets admission criteria, will ever be turned away from this hospital.” 

Will County Executive Larry Walsh said, “This is a life-saving facility for Will County. It’s going to be able to provide the needs for a number of our residents.” 

“There are so many people that are faced with mental health or dependency issues, and it’s a lot easier to bury your head in the sand, but it happens in this community. This facility is what we need to help combat those issues,” said New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann. 

The 2-story, 68,000 sq. foot hospital is expected to be completed by early 2019. The secured facility will be located on approximately 5 acres of land on the west side of Silver Cross Hospital’s campus at I-355 and Route 6. Updates will be available online.  

One in four Americans across the country suffer from a mental health condition. According to the 2016 Will County Community Needs assessment, mental health has been identified as the top unmet need year after year.  Area emergency rooms and jails are filled with people waiting for placement. In fact, 70% of healthcare providers surveyed said they refer people with mental illnesses to local emergency departments because of access issues. With the closing of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center in 2012, there has been a shortage of beds forcing more than 60% of mental health and chemically dependent patients to leave the area for care.  Because of these gaps in service, many have gone without treatment leading to the increase in addictions to opiates, heroin and alcohol in our community. Yet, despite massive community outreach efforts, heroin claimed the lives of 70 victims in Will County last year alone.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.