CEO of Illinois hospital dies at 69

Ruth Colby, president and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Ill., died Oct. 15, according to The Herald-News. She was 69. 

Ms. Colby died "at a Chicago academic medical center from complications following a surgical procedure," Silver Cross said Oct. 16.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and leader, Ruth Colby," Jean Kenol, chair of the Silver Cross board of directors, said in a statement.

"Ruth was a true servant leader and a driving force in transforming Silver Cross from a community hospital to a regional medical center and nationally recognized healthcare brand," Mr. Kenol said. "She was an inspiration to us all, was beloved by our hospital community and she loved them passionately in return. We will miss her terribly."

Ms. Colby took the helm of Silver Cross Hospital in October 2017 after serving as senior vice president of business development and chief strategy officer for the hospital.

During her tenure, the hospital "developed strategies to drive growth by developing partnerships with leading medical centers in Chicago. These include the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, University of Chicago Medicine for cancer services and neurosciences, Rush University Medical Center for lung surgery, and Lurie Children's Hospital for pediatric services," her biography on the hospital website states. 

The hospital also opened the Amy, Matthew, and Jay Vana Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which was the first level 3 NICU in Will County, according to the website. Additionally, Ms. Colby worked with US HealthVest to construct a 110-bed behavioral health hospital on the hospital campus. She also served as chair-elect of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and was slated to become chair next year. She also had recently been appointed to the American Hospital Association's Regional Planning Board for Region 5.

Before joining Silver Cross Hospital, Ms. Colby held leadership roles at University of Chicago Medicine and Solucient (now Merative).

"Ruth was passionate about excellence. About quality. And about upholding our Silver Cross promise to treat people the way they should be treated," a post on the hospital's Facebook page states. "She was also a driving force in transforming Silver Cross from a community hospital to a regional medical center and nationally recognized healthcare brand. On behalf of our entire Silver Cross Family who mourns Ruth, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family."

With Ms. Colby's passing, Silver Cross has named Michael Mutterer, RN, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, as interim president and CEO.

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