At its Dec. 1-2 meeting, the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board approved an application for a permit submitted by NorthShore University Health System d/b/a/ Skokie Hospital and NorthShore University HealthSystem to make capital expenditures of $129 million at the Skokie Hospital
campus located on Golf Road in Skokie.

According to a report prepared by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Skokie Hospital and NorthShore plan to construct a medical office building and to expand, relocate and enhance a number of areas in the hospital, including the cardiac catheterization lab, diagnostic imaging areas, the GI lab, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine procedure rooms, non-invasive cardiology and materials management. 

NorthShore acquired Skokie Hospital (formerly Rush North Shore Medical Center) effective Jan. 1, 2009; and as part of the merger agreement, it committed to fund over $100 million in capital improvements on the Skokie Hospital campus. “Over the next four years we will spend $150 million in development of Skokie Hospital,” said Kristen Murtos, president of Skokie Hospital.”

These improvements, Ms. Murtos said, “will help us streamline service, upgrade [the facility and give us added capacity in several core clinic service areas.” The added capacity, she said will help the hospital “accommodate the aging population” in the area and give them “greater access to care.”

The project is being funded entirely with cash and securities, according to IDPH’s report.

Even before NorthShore received approval for the project, “we began construction of the new lobby,” Ms. Murtos said, adding that it would have a similar ambience to other NorthShore hospitals.

Asked about the impact of the new construction project on staffing levels, Ms. Murtos said, “[That] is hard to anticipate, in that staffing is driven by volume [of patients]. There were some staff reductions and redirections [in January] with back-office functions – such as billing, marketing and other corporate services – consolidated under NorthShore.”

Ms. Murtos said there was input from “key community stakeholders” in the initial discussions of the project. She added that the new medical office building and the rehabbed spaces will “help us to meet the needs of the community we serve,”

NorthShore owns and operates four hospitals: Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park and Skokie Hospitals.