Published on May 20, 2022

Silver Cross President/CEO Ruth Colby Honored with VOA Illinois’ 2022 Profile in Leadership Award

Silver Cross Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Ruth Colby has been named the recipient of the prestigious Volunteers of American (VOA) Illinois Profile in Leadership Award for 2022.

VOA photo

Silver Cross Hospital President/CEO Ruth Colby (third from left) received the prestigious Volunteers of American (VOA) Illinois Profile in Leadership Award for 2022. Colby is pictured with, from left, Melissa Kleeman-Moy, VOA Illinois Chief Operating Officer; Cherron Corbett, VOA Illinois Board Member; and Nancy Hughes Moyer, VOA Illinois President and CEO.

In her presentation of the award last week, VOA President/CEO Nancy Hughes Moyer said Silver Cross Hospital’s groundbreaking partnership with VOA, which ultimately yielded the 67-unit Hope Manor Joliet veterans’ apartment complex on the hospital’s former Joliet campus, would have been more than sufficient to earn Colby the 2022 award.

But she added that Hope Manor Joliet is just one way Colby has tirelessly worked to better the community while leading Silver Cross Hospital to become one of the nation’s top hospitals.

“If you have daughters/nieces, and you want to give them an amazing role model, make sure they know Ruth,” Hughes Moyer said when presenting Colby with the award at the 12th Annual VOA Illinois Leadership Celebration. “She takes the energy and passion to look outside Silver Cross to amplify the positive impact to the community and create positive outcomes.”

That has been especially true as Silver Cross staff dealt with the uncertainty and challenges of the two-year-long COVID-19 pandemic, Hughes Moyer said.

“She didn’t just lead her hospital, she helped lead the country,” she said. “Ruth pushes for change and impact without looking for personal acknowledgement, and that is the purest form of leadership.”

In accepting the award, Colby credited the entire hospital staff for their tireless work during the pandemic.

“Throughout the pandemic, our Silver Cross Family exhibited extraordinary courage, compassion and kindness to our patients, visitors, community and each other,” she said. “They inspire me every single day.”

But it was a meeting in 2012 about future veterans’ housing that ultimately brought Colby and Hughes Moyer together.

“Ruth was honored with this award because of the large role she played in supporting us building Hope Manor Joliet on the grounds of the old Silver Cross Hospital,” Hughes Moyer said. “Ruth single-handedly green-lighted our vision and helped us build 67 homes for veterans and their families. We are so grateful for all she has done for VOA Illinois, our entire Hope Manor Joliet campus would not be possible without her and her incredible support.”

Colby said the hospital’s partnership with VOA was an easy decision.

“Nancy had me sold after about five minutes,” Colby said. “Working with Volunteers of American Illinois has truly been one of the best experiences during my 17-year career at Silver Cross. Every time I drive by the beautiful housing on the Joliet campus – knowing that veterans and their families have a safe place to live – fills my heart with joy. Thank you for choosing to partner with Silver Cross Hospital. Thank you, Nancy and all of your colleagues at VOA. And thank you for this award. I am truly humbled.”

About Ruth Colby

Ruth Colby assumed the duties of President and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Cross Hospital on Oct. 1, 2017, after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for 12 years.

Under her leadership, Silver Cross has formed partnerships with leading Chicago academic medical centers in Chicago, including the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, UChicago Medicine for oncology and neuroscience services, Rush University Medical Center for thoracic surgery, and Lurie Children’s Hospital for pediatric services as well as a future Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit scheduled to open this summer pending final approval from the state.

In addition, Colby partnered with US HealthVest to build the 110-bed Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital on the Silver Cross Hospital campus, which opened in 2019. The partnership Colby has developed with Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL has led to an innovative and productive relationship. Several partnerships with physicians on the medical staff have led to successful ventures in surgery, imaging and group expansion. Silver Cross also works as a client and investor with Avia to drive the hospital’s digital platform.

Colby holds a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree from New York University and a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in finance from the University of Chicago.

She is a Past President of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, an American Hospital Association membership group, and received the society’s national award for Individual Personal Achievement in 2009. In addition, Colby serves on numerous community boards. She is the Chair of the Will County Center for Economic Development, on the board of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Hospital Association. She’s also a member of the United Way of Will County Pillars Society, the Joliet Rotary Club and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Colby was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s Notable Women in Healthcare in 2019 and last fall was honored with the Athena Award from the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Silver Cross Hospital, visit silvercross.org.

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.