New Tower at OSF a Long Time Coming
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 19, 2018
ROCKFORD—The celebration of the new North Tower at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center was spread out over several days in early April.
A ribbon cutting on April 5 was followed by a Community Day on April 7. The four-story building was then blessed on April 13. 
Dignitaries at the blessing, including several Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, joined hospital staff members in an enclosed tent to the north of the building to hear several speakers and the blessing prayer. 
North Tower Details
The first floor of the OSF St. Anthony Medical Center’s North Tower is home to outpatient services, including a retail pharmacy, a prompt care/immediate care clinic adjacent to the hospital emergency room, a demonstration kitchen, and a women’s center with rejuvenation services (massages and the like).
Three upper floors house 78 private inpatient rooms dedicated to cardiology, orthopedic and general surgery patients. Each large room includes a caregiver area where nurses and doctors can do their work without bothering the patient, a family area by the windows with space to visit and a sofa that pulls out into a bed, and a patient care area with “all the amenities a patient could need,” according to an OSF St. Anthony Medical Center Facebook tour.
Chamber singers from Boylan Central Catholic High School provided songs at the beginning and ending of the formalities.
David Schertz, chief executive officer, OSF HealthCare Northern Region, provided some opening remarks that summarized the history of the process.
“This building, or something like it, was first envisioned 20 years ago,” Schertz said. “We knew at that time that we needed to upgrade our inpatient bed capabilities and look for private room capacity.”
Those discussions were interrupted, he said, first by a 1997-1999 discussion about acquiring SwedishAmerican Hospital; then by the Sept. 11 attacks and its economic ramifications. 
Later, Schertz said, “we put together a full plan to resolve our private bed capacity issues. That presentation was made during the second week of 2008. Do any of you remember what happened in the third week of 2008? ... the economy collapsed, everything plummeted and we were hit particularly hard in Rockford.” The following year, all major project work was again put on hold as OSF discussed the possibility of acquiring Rockford Memorial Hospital.
“That ended in 2012,” Schertz said, “so finally and thankfully, we have a project that was approved by the sisters and has been effectively executed.”
Additional speakers were followed by Bishop David Malloy, assisted by Deacon Thomas McKenna, in blessing the North Tower inside and out with holy water.
The bishop offered his word of thanks, calling the expansion “a service, first of all, in fulfillment of what Christ has asked us to do, and as Catholics, as followers of Christ, we take that very seriously — that we should be taking care of the sick, those who are in pain, those who are close to meeting the Lord ... .
“We’re very conscious and very proud as a Church, that this building, this addition, represents the further contribution of the Church and OSF to the area of northern Illinois, to the wellbeing of this area and of human flourishing that comes from health and health care.”