Published on December 01, 2020

More Milestones for Silver Cross Heart Surgery Program

When Pete Grossi learned he would be the first open heart surgery patient at Silver Cross in May 2019, he was so nervous at first, he almost didn’t want to go through with it.

heart buildingCynthia Westergaard had a difficult time working due to fatigue in her legs. Mitchell Hubbard also remembers getting tired every 10 to 15 minutes while he walked around his house.

All three have one thing in common, they’ve all had successful open heart surgery at Silver Cross Hospital in the last year. They join more than 200 patients who've had the surgery since the program began on May 22, 2019.

The need for an open heart surgery program was evident very quickly as the hospital surpassed 100 cases in early February - Hubbard was actually the 100th patient - and then quickly passed 200 earlier this fall. 

“We knew there was a need for open heart surgery in our community when we brought our plan before the state of Illinois back in 2018,” said Ruth Colby, Silver Cross Hospital President/CEO. “Over the last year Dr. Pat Pappas and his team have been incredible to work with, and we’re excited to expand our services in the future to help even more patients.”

Construction is currently underway on a 33,000 square-foot, 2-story addition to the east side of the hospital that provide additional heart care for patients at Silver Cross. The addition will include:

  • Two (2) cardiovascular operating rooms
  • Two dedicated open heart operating rooms
  • A hybrid room for minimally invasive heart procedures
  • Two dedicated recovery rooms
  • A dedicated patient elevator to the hospital’s new 16-bed cardiovascular unit
  • Four cardiac echo and stress-testing rooms
  • An advanced electrophysiology lab to treat abnormal heart rhythms
  • And added space for future growth

The new facility is expected to be completed later this year. When the expansion is open, Silver Cross will have the ability to provide innovative, multi-specialty care for patients with advanced and complex coronary disease. This includes surgery to correct the abnormalities of the heart structure such as repairing and replacing aortic and mitral valves.

Historically, open-heart surgery has been the common method for treating structural heart disease; however, minimally invasive valve replacement now provides a viable alternative to patients for whom conventional surgery is considered too risky—and offers the potential benefits of lower risk of infection, less trauma to the chest and heart muscle tissue, reduced length of stay in the hospital, and a quicker recovery.

For more information about heart care at Silver Cross, visit

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.