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Donors raise $18M for Advocate Good Shepherd expansion

BARRINGTON – Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital has raised more than $18 million from donors to pay for a $247 million expansion and modernization project.       

Capital campaign co-chairs Paul and Barbara Hills said donors began giving during the hospital’s silent donation phase, which began in May. A groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday evening at the hospital campus in Barrington marked the beginning of the open community campaign, which they hope will bring in an additional $7 million by the time the hospital project is completed in 2017.

Advocate Health, which is funding the rest of the project, told the campaign committee it was looking for $20 million to $30 million from community benefactors, Paul Hills said.

“Our committee worked with a consulting company to see how we could not only reach the low number but perhaps get to the high number,” Paul Hills said. “And our goal of $25 million, I think we can do it.”

Hospital President Karen Lambert said the $18 million raised so far exceeded her expectations.

“We did not expect to be here,” Lambert said. “It allowed us to move out of the silent campaign to the community campaign. … Early on when this project was announced, some of our friends stepped forward in a big way.”

Some of the early donors honored Wednesday included Barney and Jamie Baxter, Scott Brown, Paul Hanifl, Kim Duchossois, Pat Foglia, Jim Lancaster, Jill Meyer, Wayne Kocourek, Frank Morgan and Paul and Barbara Hills. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by political representatives, donors, administrators, doctors and hospital employees. It was held outside in front of the hospital and included champagne, three local high school violinists and white couches on the grass inside a tent strung with lights.

The modernization project is the hospital’s biggest renovation in its 34-year history.

It will include building private patient rooms and eight new operating rooms with increased capacity and state-of-the-art technology. The hospital’s existing facilities don’t have enough space for some modern equipment, officials have said.

“Technology is growing at an incredible rate – exponentially – and unfortunately our operating rooms are a little bit on the smaller side, and we’re having a hard time fitting all this equipment,” said Dr. Thomas Meyer, president of Advocate Good Shepherd’s medical staff. “With our new [operating rooms] we should have happy surgeons, and happy nurses if there’s happy surgeons.”

In December, demolition will begin to prepare for the construction of the new buildings. In January, the hospital will start construction of the south building, which will include the main lobby, conference center, breast center and rehab center. Work also will begin on the north building, which will house the inpatient, medical, surgical and intensive care units; new operating rooms; cardiac catheterization labs; and interventional radiology rooms.

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital is a 169-bed acute care hospital with more than 700 physicians. It is part of Advocate Health Care, the state’s largest health system.

For information about the project, visit www.advocatehealth.com/GoodShepherdModernization

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