Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine, the top rated health system in Chicago's western suburbs, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
On May 21, 1969, Loyola opened a hospital in west suburban Maywood that would become the core of a health system that today attracts 1.4 million patient visits per year and provides more than $150 million annually in services, programs and activities to support the health of surrounding communities.
"Throughout its history, Loyola has been on the leading edge of the dramatic changes we've seen in medicine and surgery," said Shawn P. Vincent, president and CEO of Loyola Medicine. "What hasn't changed is our unwavering commitment to provide compassionate and uncompromising care, treating the whole patient, mind, body and spirit."
The main Maywood campus, just west of Chicago, once was an auto race track and a runway used by Charles Lindbergh for delivering mail. Later it became the location of Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. During John F. Kennedy's presidency, the federal government deeded 62 acres of vacant land on the east side of Hines to Loyola University for a medical school and hospital.
The university moved its Stritch School of Medicine to the Maywood campus in 1967, and the hospital opened two years later. The medical school and hospital developed into a nationally known academic medical center excelling in patient care, medical research and the education and training of physicians and nurses.
Over the decades, the main campus steadily expanded. The Neuroscience Research Institute opened in 1982, the Cardiovascular Research Institute in 1983, a new surgical pavilion in 1986, a neonatal intensive care unit and 10-bed heart transplant unit in 1987 and the Emergency Medical Services building in 1993.
In 1994, Loyola opened an innovative new cancer center. Patients, doctors, nurses and scientists came together in one building, connected by an atrium. The design, unique at the time, promoted collaboration between clinicians and researchers. The cancer center later was named in honor of the late Archbishop of Chicago, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, who was treated for pancreatic cancer at Loyola.
In 1997, Stritch School of Medicine moved into a new building, the John and Herta Cuneo Center, and in 2012 the Marcella Neihoff School of Nursing & Center for Collaborative Learning opened.
The Loyola Outpatient Center opened in 2003. The center brings together dozens of medical services in one location to collaborate on complex care. The building has a relaxed, open setting, with a café, comfortable seating areas and a healing garden.
In 2011, Loyola Medicine became a member of Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the nation.
In 2016, Loyola Medicine, Loyola University Chicago and Trinity Health opened the five-story, $137 million Center for Translational Research and Education on the Maywood campus. The 225,000 square-foot building houses 500 students, faculty and staff who conduct medical research from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside.
Through the decades, Loyola has achieved many medical milestones. In 2004, the neonatal intensive care unit cared for a baby girl who weighed just 9.2 ounces at birth. At the time, she was the world's smallest surviving baby. Loyola is the first in the state to offer a noninvasive test for coronary artery disease called HeartFlow® and a groundbreaking MRI-guided radiation therapy called MRIdian® that targets tumors with millimeter precision. Loyola also was among the first centers to offer a minimally invasive heart valve replacement that does not require open heart surgery.
Loyola has long been a national leader in organ transplantation. Loyola established Chicago's first heart transplant program in 1984 and first lung transplant program in 1988. Loyola performed the first double-lung transplant in Illinois in 1990 and a double-lung-and-kidney transplant in 2007. In 2019, Loyola performed its 1,000th lung transplant – more than all Illinois transplant centers combined.
Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park became part of Loyola Medicine in 2008, and MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn joined Loyola in 2018. Loyola also maintains a close affiliation with Hines VA. Researchers from Loyola and Hines frequently collaborate and some physicians have joint appointments at both hospitals.
Loyola has six nationally ranked specialties and is ranked 3rd overall in Illinois in U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals rankings. Loyola's cardiology and heart surgery program has been nationally ranked by U.S. News for 15 of the last 16 years.
Loyola is among the eight percent of healthcare organizations that have earned Magnet designation, the highest honor for nursing and patient care excellence. Newsweek magazine named Loyola to its 2019 list of the World's Best Hospitals. Loyola has been named to Becker’s Hospital Review's list of "100 Great Hospitals in America" for six years in a row and has won the American Heart Association's Gold plus achievement award for stroke care for 10 years in a row. Forbes magazine named Loyola University Medical Center as one of the "Best Employers for Diversity 2019."