SwedishAmerican Investing $130 Million into Downtown Hospital Campus

SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, is expanding its excellence in health care by investing $130 Million to construct a new state-of-the art women’s and children’s tower while making significant additional renovations on its main hospital campus in downtown Rockford.

The new four-story structure is expected to be open in 2020, with modernizations occurring in phases in the emergency department, surgical area, and catheterization labs. The project also expands by 30 percent the bed capacity in behavioral and mental health and creates all private in-patient rooms throughout the existing hospital.

With this proposed project, SwedishAmerican will have invested more than $630 million since 2001 in renovating and rebuilding its flagship downtown campus.

The new women’s and children’s tower will include a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), featuring ten beds and staffed 24-hours-a-day by a multidisciplinary team of physicians from both SwedishAmerican and the nationally-rated University of Wisconsin’s American Family Children’s Hospital. Additional highly trained neonatal nurse practitioners, experienced RNs, pharmacists, and other specialists will staff the unit. As a Level III NICU, SwedishAmerican will provide this highest level category of care in Illinois to babies and mothers.

“Services in the new tower will focus on modernized care for babies and their mothers and will allow the more than 2,500 children born here every year to receive an even higher level of care,” said Dr. Bill Gorski, president and CEO of SwedishAmerican. “In-house specialist physicians from our University of Wisconsin’s American Family Children’s Hospital will serve on-site, providing optimal care for babies along with healing comfort and convenience for mothers and families.”

Dr. William K. Cunningham, SwedishAmerican OB/GYN department chairman, added, “we see more and more babies regularly experiencing a wide variety of complications requiring specialized care so the addition of a Level III NICU along with new specialist physicians will be a major asset for our patients.”

Dr. Michael Born, chief medical and quality officer for SwedishAmerican, said there are additional benefits beyond new perinatal services. “Once the care for our babies and mothers is centralized in the new four-story tower, existing hospital space will be renovated to benefit a wider population of patients by expanding the Emergency Department, modernizing operating rooms and catheterization labs, and adding beds for psychiatry,” said Dr. Born. “The completion of this entire project will allow us to transition to private rooms for inpatients throughout the entire hospital.”

SwedishAmerican Board member, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Board, said all communities in the Rockford area deserve continued access to excellent care near the population center. “SwedishAmerican has always been community focused and striving for excellence in service and outcomes. This new facility and additional hospital renovations will expand our ability to care for the entire community with compassion and respect,” said Rev. Board.

Jedediah Cantrell, vice president of hospital operations, said this project also has major and long-term economic impacts in downtown Rockford. She said it will mean approximately 600 union labor construction jobs and dozens of new permanent healthcare jobs inside SwedishAmerican.

For construction to move forward, SwedishAmerican will file documents with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board which is statutorily required to approve this level of hospital expansion. Official approval is anticipated within two to four months.

Supporters of the Project

A current list of individuals who either verbally or in writing have expressed support of our project include:

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D. IL)
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D.IL)
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL 17th Dist.)
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL 11th Dist.)
Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL 6th Dist.)
Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL 14th Dist.)
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrisey
Rockford Mayor-Elect Tom McNamara
Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney
State Senator Steve Stadelman (D. 34th Dist.)
State Representative Leticia Wallace (D. 67th Dist.)
State Representative John Cabello (R. 68th Dist.)
State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R. 69th Dist.)
Northwestern IL Building & Construction Trades Council President Brad Long

For further information, contact:

Katryna Kirby