New Women and Children’s Tower Approved for SwedishAmerican by State Regulators

SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health won approval this afternoon from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to expand its excellence in healthcare by constructing a new, state-of-the-art women’s and children’s tower on its main hospital campus in downtown Rockford.

“Nearly 2,000 babies enter the world at SwedishAmerican every year, and this new tower will allow us the most outstanding clinical resources we can provide for these newborns and their families,” says Dr. Michael Born, president and CEO of SwedishAmerican. “Our commitment to the entire community has always been unmistakable in our institution’s core values, and this type of investment exemplifies what we believe.”

The new four-story structure is expected to be open in 2020, with modernizations also occurring in existing facilities within the hospital including a larger new emergency department, surgical areas, and catheterization labs. Helping to address a regional shortage, the project also adds critically needed capacity in the behavioral and mental health department. When all phases of the modernization have been completed, the hospital will have converted to exclusively private rooms for inpatients.

Dr. William K. Cunningham, SwedishAmerican OB/GYN department chairman, added, “We’re especially enthused because we’ll have enough room to accommodate our soon-to-open Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and specialists from both SwedishAmerican and the nationally-rated University of Wisconsin’s American Family Children’s Hospital. Earning the license to offer the highest level of care in Illinois to mothers and their babies is a fulfilling milestone for our SwedishAmerican family.

“Support for this expansion from community leaders and elected officials has been extraordinary,” says SwedishAmerican board member, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Board. “From the faith community to United States senators, from our mayor to our state and federal representatives, all have spoken with one voice, unified in their desire to see SwedishAmerican expand their excellent care in our community.”

“The coordinated effort to win this approval has required many months of diligent stewardship from our administration,” noted Jedediah Cantrell, vice president of operations at SwedishAmerican. “Patients are the big winners here, but our community wins too. In addition to the expanded care we will deliver hundreds of new jobs that will produce long-term economic impact in downtown Rockford.”

Preliminary construction work will begin soon with a kickoff celebration planned for early summer.

Including this upcoming project, SwedishAmerican will have invested more than $630 million since 2001 in renovating and rebuilding its flagship downtown Rockford campus. For more information, visit www.swedishamerican.org.