Amy, Matthew and Jay Vana Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Silver Cross Hospital

To ensure babies with special needs can receive all the care they need under one roof, and families can stay together close to home, Silver Cross is building Will County’s FIRST Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With YOUR support, the $12.8 million NICU will open in early 2022.

NICU-BedSilver Cross Hospital has received approval from the State of Illinois to upgrade from a Specialty Care Nursery to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) so high-risk expectant mothers and critically ill babies will no longer have to travel far for safe,
advanced care.

The 24-bed NICU will be located on the third floor of the hospital’s new addition, adjacent to our birthing center and feature all single-family private LABOR OF LOVE rooms.

Modeled after Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s NICU, it will offer a
Lurie Childrens Hospital logoquiet environment for sleep and recovery as well as space for parents to breastfeed, practice skin-to-skin bonding, and be intimately involved in their baby’s care.

Each family will have their own room offering a quiet environment for sleep and recovery. The NICU will provide comfort and convenience for families with a family lounge where they can relax between testing.

Our family transition room will allow parents to spend the night before the baby is discharged home and consultation rooms provide private space to talk with specialists. Patients will be safely cared for 24/7 by a team of highly skilled neonatologists,
neonatal nurses, therapists and other caregivers and have immediate access to Lurie Children’s Hospital pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists on campus.

Labor of Love

In appreciation of Tom and Michele Vana’s transformational gift to advance care for area newborns, the facility will be named the Amy, Matthew and Jay Vana Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after the couple’s triplets.

The Vana’s close ties to Silver Cross date back more than three decades when Tom and Michele met in Silver Cross Hospital’s Emergency Department. Michele was working as a registered nurse and Tom worked as a paramedic for his family’s business—Kurtz Ambulance Service, and as a funeral director for Kurtz Memorial Chapel. They married in 1990 and tried for several years to start a family.

NICU Vana TripletsTom and Michele were overjoyed when they learned they were expecting triplets. At the same time, they were anxious as this was considered a high-risk pregnancy and delivery requiring a level of care not available at nearby hospitals. Then just 29 weeks into her pregnancy, Michele went into premature labor delivering Amy, Jay and Matthew on Oct. 10, 1995. Each weighed approximately two pounds and required months of intensive care. 

Vana Family“This project is especially close to our hearts” said Michele. “Tom and I want to make sure that other parents don’t have to experience what we went through; the stress and anxiety of making the long trip back and forth to Chicago for months to be with their tiny, sick newborns every minute of every day for 9 weeks. Our investment along with that of many others, ensures that our children and grandchildren and families throughout Will County and beyond will have access to the very best  neonatal care nearby.”


To make a charitable donation to support the Amy, Matthew and Jay Vana Intensive Care Unit and Birthing Center at Silver Cross Hospital, click here or send your check payable to the Silver Cross Foundation, 1900 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox, IL 60451.

For more information or to discuss a planned or legacy gift, contact Tracy Simons at 815-300-7113 or Commemorative naming opportunities are available.

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.