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Local News

Silver Cross Hospital growing its facilities to meet community health needs

Silver Cross responds to rapid growth in surgery cases

NEW LENOX – Since the new Silver Cross Hospital was established in New Lenox in 2012, the campus has continued to expand to meet the growing health care needs in Will County.

The campus recently grew by 58 acres – now totaling 134 acres – and hospital officials plan to use 4 acres of the new land for an ambulatory surgery center that may be built by March 2018, pending state approval. 

“Clearly the campus has grown and we’ve added new buildings but inside those buildings we added a lot of new services,” said Ruth Colby, Silver Cross senior vice president of business development and chief strategy officer. “And the services have really been driven by the needs identified in Will County.” 

The new growth of the campus represents new opportunities for the hospital, but plans for the land, which was recently rezoned by the village of New Lenox, have yet to be determined. New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said village officials are excited about the expansion of the campus. 

Silver Cross Hospital is conscientious of the village’s needs and works well with its officials, he said. 

“They see the global picture. It’s not just about the hospital for them. They know how the village grows impacts them,” Baldermann said. 

Colby said the expansion of Silver Cross goes back to 2007, when its Board of Directors was evaluating its options and decided the best one was building a replacement hospital. The option would offer better health care for patients and be less expensive than remodeling the old campus in Joliet, she said.

When the new hospital opened in February 2012, it had 289 beds, Colby said. In 2015, the hospital added more intensive care unit and rehabilitation beds, increasing total beds to 296, she said.

Silver Cross is going through outpatient expansion on its campus, improving accessibility to outpatient testing, she said.

“We have a much larger waiting room because the volume’s been really huge in outpatient testing,” she said.

Silver Cross is seeking approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for construction of an ambulatory surgery center on its new property to meet its rapidly growing need for surgeries. A hearing before the board on the project is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 13 in Springfield.

“We’ve had double digit growth in surgical cases year over year,” Colby said. 

Silver Cross officials are also seeking to add gastroenterology, pain management and otolaryngology to the types of surgeries that can be performed at the center, according to a July 11 modification letter from the hospital that also has testimony from medical staff supporting the center’s creation. 

“Our physicians desire to work in an ambulatory surgery center because it’s a more efficient,” Colby said. 

The Silver Cross campus is growing in response to health needs; its medical staff, which has doubled in size; more physicians choosing to work at the hospital; and the population of Will County growing and aging, she said.

Silver Cross works with Will County government on the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships initiative to asses health needs. 

Another factor driving the growth is patient satisfaction, Colby said. 

Baldermann said he knows there will be more development of retail, hotel and restaurant businesses in the area of the village where Silver Cross is located but he would like to see medical expansion as well. 

“Quality health care means more to a community, in my opinion,” he said. 

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