St. Alexius Medical Center's history has been a story of many changes in both name and ownership. The changes began even before Suburban Medical Clinic opened its doors in 1979. Between the groundbreaking and the dedication, the hospital had already changed hands from American Medicorp to Humana, Inc. In 1983, the name was changed to Humana Hospital to reflect the ownership. Ten years later, Galen Health Care, Inc., a subsidiary of Humana, changed the name of the hospital to Hoffman Estates Medical Center to emphasize the community connection. By 1994, the hospital had been sold to Columbia/HCA Healthcare, but did not add the Columbia name until late in 1996. In 1997, hospital officials decided to drop the Columbia name after the announcement that Columbia planned to sell the hospital as part of a Chicago divestiture. Columbia had also fallen under a federal probe for Medicare fraud. The name remained Hoffman Estates Medical Center until February 1, 1999, when Alexian Brothers took over sponsorship and named the hospital after the patron of their congregation, St. Alexius.
On August 19, 1998, Alexian Brothers Health System (ABHS) announced that ABHS and Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation had signed an agreement to exchange Alexian Brothers Hospital and its affiliates in San Jose, California for a Hoffman Estates Medical Center and Woodland Hospital in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The agreement was part of the Alexian Brothers' plan to make better use of the limited number of Brothers in the Congregation and maximize their effectiveness in the future by strengthening the Congregation's ministries in the Midwest. A reception was held at the hospital on February 1, 1999 to celebrate the new beginning.
One of the first changes made at the hospital after the acquisition by Alexian Brothers was the blessing of the chapel on May 24, 1999. This was followed by the official dedication and blessing of the hospital by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, Archbishop of Chicago, on June 12, 1999. Alexian Brothers gathered here from ministry sites across the country for this special occasion. In his homily, Cardinal George pointed out that "health care is how we profess everyone as our neighbor."
In December, St. Alexius Medical Center was recognized by the Health Care Industries Association as a recipient of the 1999 100 Top Hospitals™: National Benchmarks for Success award. The hospital's recognition for clinical excellence and efficient delivery of care was published in Modern Healthcare magazine on December 13, 1999.
On March 7, 2001, ground was broken for an expansion to include enlarged lobby, a chapel, a new main entrance, office space, and a meditation garden. The $3.4 million expansion project was the first phase of a long-term plan to increase space for inpatient and outpatient services. When the project was completed later in 2001, the 344-bed medical center featured a new main entrance, front lobby and adjacent office space, meeting rooms, and a new 100-seat chapel on the first floor. Other construction or renovation projects completed in 2001 were a third GI lab, additional Day Surgery bays, minor room and laser rooms relocated to 6-South providing more space in Day Surgery, 2-South Mother/Baby and GYN Surgery, and 5-South General Medical/Surgical unit.
On August 9, 2002, a dedication and blessing ceremony was held for the new Chapel of the Healing Christ, gathering room, lobby, office suites and meditation garden. The Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago officiated. In October, the stained glass window from Alexian Brothers Hospital in San Jose, California was installed in the Gathering Room to the chapel, and in November, a large statue of Christ the Healer was placed at the front of the chapel. Photographs show the phenomenon, which occurred unplanned, of a reflection of the statue three times on the inside of the chapel's glass doors.
Construction continued in the Fall of 2002 on a three-story addition to St. Alexius' three-story west wing, which was located between the hospital's two six-story towers. Plans called for converting space in the south tower back into patient units by moving outpatient operations to the new addition from the south tower. The master facility plan also called for a major expansion of the emergency room; a "diagnostic mall" which would consolidate all of the hospital's diagnostic services in a new wing on the facilities northwest side; the construction of a 60,000 square-foot medical office building; and the addition of new operating rooms. Completed projects in 2002 included the Cardiac Catheterization Lab refurbishment, 4-West, 5-West, and 6-West, elevator added, and a Special Procedure Room.
New programs launched in 2003 included the interventional cardiology program, the Alexian Orthopedics Institute on 6- North, a new Endoscopy Center, and an off-site immediate care center called St. Alexius 24 Hour Care Center, located at 1515 Lake Street in Hanover Park, Illinois. Another was opened at 231 E. Northwest Highway in Palatine, Illinois in 2004. The name of the Centers was changed to Alexian Brothers Immediate Care Centers on November 15, 2007.
Construction projects completed in 2004 included the Emergency Department expansion, Four-South to serve as an all private room pediatric unit, Four-North to use as a swing unit, Six-South for a general medical surgical and Bariatrics Unit, Six-West Endoscopy Center, Five-West Procedure Clinic for chemotherapy, giving blood, and pain center, and two large state-of-the-art new operating rooms.
By the Fall of 2005, the three-story, 60,000-square-foot medical office building was nearing completion. It sat atop a two-story base housing a variety of departments and services, including administration, and outpatient surgery center, physician services, a cancer center, a women's center, and education resource center, a new laboratory draw station, and a deli/café. A two-level parking deck was build next to the building, with a tunnel that connected to the hospital. A one-story addition for diagnostic services was also nearing completion at this time. The addition expanded its CT, MRI, and ultrasound capabilities, while providing more procedure rooms.
On February 10, 2006, members of Alexian Brothers Health System, the hospital administration, and Alexian Brothers were present for a visit by Patricia Blagojevich, wife of the Governor of Illinois, who was representing a program for health insurance for all children in the state of Illinois. The First Lady visited the Pediatrics unit.
Siemens Medical Solutions and Alexian Brothers Hospital Network announced the world's first installation of the Symbia ® S SPECT at St. Alexius Medical Center on May 11, 2006. The SPECT (Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography) technology was used to establish a molecular imaging environment for cardiology, oncology, and general nuclear medicine procedures.
On March 12, 2007, the Bettendorf Pavilion for Outpatient Services opened. The new pavilion was connected to the hospital and Doctors Buildings I and III. Diagnostic testing services located in the new area included cardiology and cardiac catheterization lab, diagnostic imaging, an Education Resource Center and café. The dedication and blessing took place on May 9. The pavilion was named after the late Brother Felix Bettendorf, founder of the Alexian Brothers Hospital in San Jose, Superior General of the congregation from 1968 to 1974, Provincial from 1984 to 1992, and President of Alexian Brothers Health System from 1984 to 1998. May also saw the opening of the new Cancer Institute at St. Alexius Medical Center.
In August of 2008, construction began on an eight-bed Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). However, planning was already under way to build a structure that would house this service as part of an ambitious new bed tower project. The six-story tower was part of a larger strategy to modernize the entire hospital, making about ninety percent of its rooms private, and to expand the pediatric and mother/baby services significantly.
Ground breaking for the new Women and Children’s Hospital took place in the spring of 2011, and the structure was dedicated on March 15, 2013. Slated to opened in April of 2013, services will include a 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, The Center for Pediatric Brain, an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, a general pediatrics unit, private rooms for Mother/Baby with specialty care for mothers and infants, operating rooms, Day Surgery, and a conference center.