Celebrating 5 Years in New Lenox
Five years ago, Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox on Feb. 26, 2012. Since then, Silver Cross has cared for more than 1.3 million patients while continuing to bring new services and enhanced expertise to the residents of Will County and beyond.
“We have grown in both size and stature while remaining an independent healthcare provider,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “By partnering with some of the most renowned organizations in the country, our patients receive the very best specialized care close to home.”
One of the most successful partnerships is with University of Chicago Medicine bringing adult and pediatric cancer specialists and advanced and investigational therapies to the New Lenox campus. In the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, which opened in June 2012, more than 2,000 patients have benefitted from cutting-edge chemotherapy, radiation therapy techniques, and over 150 clinical trials not typically found in a community hospital. Patients also take advantage of the weekly lung and breast cancer conferences in which a multidisciplinary group of cancer experts reviews patients’ medical information and develops a plan of care all in one day so that they can begin treatment within the shortest time possible.
“Time is also of the essence when dealing with stroke and other neurological disorders,” said Pawlak. “Through our partnerships with Northwestern Medicine Neurosciences and The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), we can diagnose stroke, administer tPA, remove blood clots, repair aneurysms, and help patients recover and rehabilitate all within our hospital walls. In the last 4 years, we’ve successfully performed over 650 interventions saving countless lives.”
RIC has been helping inpatients and outpatients at Silver Cross Hospital achieve their ability since 2010. However since moving to the new building, they have expanded their programs to accommodate the growing need for lymphedema, cancer, pelvic disorders, postnatal, and adult speech therapy services. Last year, RIC expanded its outpatient facilities in Pavilion A on the Silver Cross campus and opened a Brain and Balance Clinic on Joliet’s west side.
New Services, National Attention
“We built the new hospital to accommodate future growth, but never thought that growth would come so soon,” adds Pawlak.
The hospital has already added more ICU and inpatient rehabilitation beds. Last year, Silver Cross acquired 58 acres of land just west of the Hospital with the intent to build an Ambulatory Surgery Center on 4 acres. According to Pawlak, the surgery center will be ready this summer and can’t open soon enough. Over the past five years, Silver Cross has performed more than 95,000 procedures in its 11 operating rooms; 3,500 with the assistance of a surgical robot.
“We acquired our first daVinci robot in April 2012 and now have three in the fleet plus a MAKO robot for total hip and partial knee replacement,” said Pawlak.
Silver Cross performs more robotic procedures including hysterectomies and complex procedures to treat colorectal cancer than any other hospital or surgery center in the Chicago area. The Midwest Institute for Robotic Surgery at Silver Cross is home to some of the most experienced robotic surgeons in the country.
“Surgeons from around the world train with us,” adds Pawlak. “Our vast experience means better outcomes for our patients such as less pain and risk of complications, a shorter hospital stay, and virtually scarless results.”
Known for its friendly, 100 Top Hospital care, Silver Cross has evolved into a leader in patient safety receiving an “A” Hospital Safety Score four times in a row from the national safety watchdog – The Leapfrog Group.
“An ‘A’ grade is one of the most meaningful honors a hospital can achieve and one of the most valuable indicators for patients looking for a safe place to receive care,” Pawlak says.
Access – Anytime, Anywhere
If it is convenience that patients are looking for, since 2012, Silver Cross has implemented a new electronic medical records system so that patients can access their medical records anytime, from anywhere. Patients can also schedule an appointment for a test and make a reservation for urgent care online using SCHedule Now or talk with a doctor 24/7 through phone or video.
“At $49 per consult, Teladoc is an affordable option for quality medical care,” said Pawlak. “It’s an easy alternative to going to the ER or Urgent Care for non-emergency issues; when your doctor is unavailable or you don’t have a regular physician; you are on vacation; or just need a short-term prescription refill.”
Silver Cross Hospital in partnership with US HealthVest has plans to build a 100-bed behavioral health hospital to address the mental health and substance abuse crisis in Will and Grundy counties by expanding inpatient and outpatient services. If approved by the state, the proposed $22 million Silver Oaks Hospital will be located on five acres on the New Lenox campus and open in early 2019.
“Until then, we are just going to continue what we do best – treating patients the way they should be treated,” says Pawlak.