Swedish Covenant Hospital

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Swedish Covenant Hospital
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Hospital type Non-profit Independent Hospital
Affiliated university North Park University, Midwestern University
Beds 323 licensed beds
Founded 1886

Swedish Covenant Hospital is an independent, nonprofit teaching hospital located on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. The hospital offers a range of medical programs, including back health, cancer care, cardiac heart services, women's health services, childbirth and emergency services.[1] The hospital has 323 beds, 580 physicians[1] and 2,500 employees.[2] The hospital is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.[3]


Swedish Covenant Hospital was founded as the Home of Mercy on April 1, 1886 by the Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church Mission Friends. Original records of the Home of Mercy state that the original hospital had 12 iron beds, two wooden wash stands, a bookcase, sofa, swing and a table with six chairs.[4]

In 1903, the hospital completed its first expansion with the construction of Delano Hall.[5]

In 1899, the hospital began a nurse training program. By 1923, fifty doctors had joined the staff, a complete system of medical records had been initiated and the hospital had earned recognition by both the American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons.[5]

In 2004, Swedish Covenant Hospital became Chicago’s only member of the Planetree Alliance, an organization that develops and implements guidelines for patient-centered care. The hospital maintained its membership until 2009, making it the longest running affiliate in Illinois.[6] Of 5,000 Planetree-affiliated US hospitals, only 125 have committed fully to the Planetree philosophy of treating the whole patient—body, mind and spirit.[7]

Beginning in 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital has performed extensive retrograding on the hospital's campus to benchmark energy efficiency.[8]

In 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Swedish Covenant that garnered national attention after the Associated Press reported on the lawsuit. The suit alleges that the hospital failed to meet its mission by not providing adequate free and reduced cost care to two low-income uninsured patients.[9]

In March 2014 Swedish Covenant Hospital became affiliated with the St. George's University of London for clinical rotations.

In the fall of 2014, Swedish Covenant Hospital opened the Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center.[10]

In November 2014 Swedish Covenant Hospital announced a partnership with Land of Lincoln Health (LLH) and began offering medical insurance plans to individuals and small businesses.

Achievements and Awards[edit]

In 2004, the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program named Swedish Covenant Hospital a NICHE designated hospital. The hospital was awarded a “Senior-Friendly” status when they renewed their designation in 2015.[11]

In 2009, Forbes Magazine recognized Swedish Covenant Hospital in its list of “America’s Safest Hospitals.” According to Forbes, Swedish Covenant Hospital was designated as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence by HealthGrades.[12] In the same year, Swedish Covenant Hospital was also listed on the Best Hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report[13] and named a "hospital of the 21st century by NBC 5 Chicago or the hospital's implementation of electronic medical records over the last 20 years.[14] Due to this implementation, Swedish Covenant Hospital has demonstrated a yearly reduction of ER wait time since 2006.[14]

In 2010, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) granted Magnet Recognition to Swedish Covenant Hospital. The hospital maintained this recognition and was granted Magnet Recognition for a second time in September 2015.[15]

In December 2013, Swedish Covenant Hospital was selected as a Top Hospital by the Leapfrog Group during their annual meeting in Washington, D.C.[16]

In January 2015, CAN Healthcare gave Swedish Covenant Hospital the Leadership in Safety Award, making it the fourth hospital to receive the award since its inception in 2008.[17]

In September 2015, the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) presented Swedish Covenant Hospital with the Insurance Marketplace Disrupter Award for their partnership with Land of Lincoln Health.[18]

In February 2016, Swedish Covenant Hospital was named a Blue Distinction Center+ for Cardiac Care and Maternity Care by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). The national designation distinguishes health care facilities that BCBSA believes have proven to provide safe, effective and cost-efficient care to members of the community. [19]

As of April 2016, Swedish Covenant Hospital has earned nine consecutive 'A' grades from The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Scores. Swedish Covenant Hospital is one of only six hospitals in Chicago to receive an A grade in the April 2016 report, and one of only four Chicago hospitals to have earned Straight ‘A’s for every rating period since 2012.[20]

Centers, Departments and Institutions[edit]

Chicago Back Institute[edit]

On July 1, 2010, the Hospital opened the Chicago Back Institute which is a comprehensive program emphasizing back and spine health and individualized treatment, with surgical intervention as a last alternative. The program incorporates complementary medicine and therapy programs as well as conventional treatment of physical therapy and pain management. It also incorporates the wellness programs at Galter Life Center (see below).[21]

The surgeons at the Chicago Back Institute utilizes minimally invasive spinal surgery when the situation warrants it. While the patient lies on their side, very narrow tools and a camera are inserted through a tiny opening about the size of a pen to fix the disc that is causing the discomfort, without disturbing important back muscles. The procedure is known to offer a rapid recovery and a faster return to normal activities.[22]

Center for Advanced Therapy[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital has earned designation as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program with Commendation, awarded to cancer programs that meet and exceed established standards for high-quality cancer care by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.[23]

Rush University Affiliation[edit]

In November 2012, Swedish Covenant Hospital and Rush University Medical Center signed an affiliation agreement. The agreement allows for the two entities to collaborate on clinical, research and academic programs and to share cancer treatment protocols and various indicators and benchmarks for patient outcomes.[24]

Radiation therapy[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital offers radiation therapy treatment, using an advanced linear accelerator, for all types of cancers. This technology allows it to use a number of advanced techniques, including electron beam therapy for supplemental tumors and image-guided and intensity-modulated treatments for difficult-to-treat tumors. The intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) adds precision to treat highly sensitive area such as tumors of the brain, head, neck and pelvis.[25][26]

Yelda Family Emergency Services[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Services is a 24-hour department with a board-certified team of emergency medical specialists. Children with special urgent care needs can be seen by one of the pediatric emergency specialists affiliated with Children's Memorial Hospital on the medical staff at Swedish Covenant Hospital.[27]

The Yelda Family Emergency Services at Swedish Covenant Hospital was unveiled in 2007 in response to the closure of two neighboring hospitals – Edgewater and Ravenswood – and the patient volume that nearly doubled from 2000. In March 2006, Swedish Covenant Hospital broke ground on an 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) expansion and renovation of the original Emergency Department.[28]

Special features include decontamination rooms to treat patients exposed to chemical agents, negative pressure rooms and spaces that incorporate independent air handling systems to help contain airborne pathogens such as SARS.[28]

Cardiology and Heart Services[edit]

The Cardiology and Heart Services department of Swedish Covenant Hospital is composed of the Cardiac Care Unit, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and the Chest Pain Center.

In November 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital received full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

The Cardiac Care Unit at Swedish Covenant Hospital opened as part of an expansion of the Galter Medical Pavilion in 2003. The unit was developed by cardiologists, cardiac nurses and staff in order to centralize, streamline and enhance the quality of care for cardiac patients. [29]

Cardiac Catheterization[edit]

The procedures and programs in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory include: Cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and stents, cardiac ablation, pacemaker and ICD implants, pacemaker and defibrillator clinic and electrophysiology program.[30]

As part of the update, high-performance equipment including advanced GE imaging devices were installed to enable cardiac specialists to view images on monitors within the lab to assist them during procedures.[30]

Rehabilitation Services[edit]

Physical Therapy[edit]

The physical therapists at Swedish Covenant Hospital use a hands-on approach to treat people with a variety of orthopedic, neurological and soft-tissue disorders. The program includes Sports Medicine Therapy, Incontinence and Pelvic Pain Program and Vestibular Therapy.[31]

Swedish Covenant Hospital speech-language pathologists treat cognitive-communicative disorders, as well as swallowing difficulties that can disrupt a person's ability to eat. Swedish Covenant Hospital is the only facility on Chicago's north side to offer Fibroendoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES), which uses a sophisticated flexible endoscope to view the swallow mechanism and provides precise information for diagnosis and treatment.[32] Therapy may include modifications to the consistency of food, exercises to improve tongue and lip movement and strength, and patient/family education on safe feeding techniques.[21]


In 1898, Swedish Covenant Hospital established a hospital-based School of Nursing. In 1968, the program was transitioned to a sister affiliate, North Park University. Many Swedish Covenant Hospital nurses are from North Park University, Loyola University and University of Illinois. At Swedish Covenant Hospital, more than 100 nurses are board certified in Cardiology, Case management, Critical Care, Diabetes, Emergency, Gerontology, Home Care, Infection control, Medical/Surgical, Obstetrics, Oncology, Pain Management, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Physical rehabilitation, Surgery and Wound Care.[33]

NICHE Designation[edit]

In 2004, the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program named Swedish Covenant Hospital a NICHE designated hospital. The hospital was awarded a “Senior-Friendly” status when they renewed their designation in 2015.[11]

NICHE is a nurse-driven program producing standards and resources to assist hospitals in improving the quality of care provided for patients age 65 and older.[34] To receive recertification as a NICHE hospital, Swedish Covenant Hospital completed the Annual Membership Profile and the Annual Program Evaluation, designed to determine a hospital’s committed to improving quality, enhancing patient and family experience and supporting efforts to serve the community.[35]

Magnet Excellence[edit]

On May 19, 2010, the American Nurses Credentialing Center granted Swedish Covenant Hospital designation as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing. Swedish Covenant Hospital is one of 28 hospitals in Illinois to achieve this status.[36]

Swedish Covenant Hospital began its Journey to Magnet Excellence in 2006. It is a program developed and sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to recognize excellence in the delivery of nursing services and providing a method of disseminating successful nursing practices. The Magnet Recognition Program acknowledges quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.[37]

Specialty Services[edit]

da Vinci Surgical System[edit]

In 2009, Swedish Covenant Hospital acquired the third generation da Vinci Surgical System. The da Vinci Surgical System’s EndoWrist© instruments are designed to mimic the movements of the surgeon’s hands and wrists, giving natural hand-eye coordination and excellent flexibility and control when operating.[38] Nine physicians at Swedish Covenant Hospital are trained to use the da Vinci Si.[39]

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber[edit]

In 2002, Swedish Covenant Hospital completed its hyperbaric oxygen chambers to help wounds heal seven days faster than the national average.[40] The 100 percent pure oxygen encourages better circulation and faster healing so that diabetic patients, for example, have a 96 percent healing rate, with an average healing time of 31.5 days at Swedish Covenant Hospital.[41]

Complementary Therapies[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital offers patients complementary therapies including massage therapy, horticulture therapy, Laughter Yoga and animal-assisted therapy to relieve stress and discomfort and enhance rehabilitation.[42] Canine Therapy Corps acknowledged Swedish Covenant Hospital for being one of the only hospitals in Planetree that used dogs in a therapeutic manner.[43]

Additional Services[edit]

Swedish Covenant Hospital provides art and architectural stimuli, aromatherapy, horticulture opportunities and music played by volunteer instrumentalists.[42][43]

Healing Garden[edit]

The Healing Garden at Swedish Covenant Hospital was officially opened on August 21, 2008 during the hospital’s annual Donor Night. This garden is complete with walking paths, a fountain, benches, a stream, a labyrinth and landscaping made from environmentally conscious materials from around the world.[44] Modern Healthcare Magazine, recognizing Swedish Covenant Hospital for its Healing Garden in 2008, found research demonstrating that healing gardens provide a natural setting enhancing stress reduction and potential relief from symptoms for patients.[45]


Swedish Covenant Hospital offers ethnic menus. Cuisines include a Korean menu in place for over four years featuring dishes made entirely from scratch at the hospital, Hispanic menu launched in 2006, and an Indian Halal menu.[46] In November 2009, the Chicago Tribune found that Swedish Covenant Hospital was taking enhanced patient menus further by offering only grass fed-beef and non-caged eggs and organic options across the menu in addition to the multi-cultural options.[47]

Child Care Center[edit]

The James and Suzanne McCormick Montessori Child Care Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital serves both hospital employees with small children and members of the community. The Montessori discipline focuses on teaching independence, responsibility and self-discipline, as well as encouraging cognitive development at the child's own pace and stressing the uniqueness of each child. The Child Care Center is the only Montessori hospital-based program in the United States. The Child Care Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital offers Montessori infant, toddler and preschool daycare for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old.[48]

Galter LifeCenter[edit]

The Galter LifeCenter, affiliated with Swedish Covenant Hospital and the Evangelical Covenant Church, is a 69,000-square-foot (6,400 m2) medical fitness center on the hospital campus. The Galter LifeCenter offers programs and services for the mind and body, including yoga and Pilates, as well as sports performance training. It is the only fitness center in Chicago to offer seven Body Training Systems programs, which are licensed programs that require the instructors teaching these programs to have additional certifications. Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation, physical therapy and pain management programs are located at the LifeCenter. The integration of wellness-based and medical services makes Galter LifeCenter a medical-based fitness center.[49]


Old info



Basic Information

  • 323 licensed beds[50]
  • 2,200 full-time staff[50]
  • 580 physicians[1]
  • 250 volunteers[50]
  • 16,162 admissions[50]
  • 2,915 obstetrical services[50]
  • 46,145 emergency treatments[50]
  • 14,012 surgical procedures[50]
  • 260,730 outpatient visits[50]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, IL | US News Best Hospitals". health.usnews.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  2. ^ "About Us | Swedish Covenant Hospital". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Acute Care Hospitals". Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program. 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "History of Swedish Covenant Hospital". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  5. ^ a b Olsson, Karl (1961). Quality of Mercy. 
  6. ^ Hitzeman, Harry (September 3, 2007), "Hospitals see "warm and fuzzy" treatment for patients, families as a better path to healing", Daily Herald, Chicago  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  7. ^ "Key Accomplishments". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  8. ^ "City of Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking 2015" (PDF). City of Chicago. City of Chicago. 
  9. ^ "Uninsured patients sue Chicago nonprofit hospital". Washington Examiner. 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital Breaks Ground on $8 Million Women's Health Center". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  11. ^ a b "NICHE Program » Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders". www.nicheprogram.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  12. ^ Ruiz, Rebecca; Whelan, David (January 27, 2009), "America's Safest Hospitals", Forbes, United States  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  13. ^ Comarow, Avery (July 15, 2009), "America's Best Hospitals", US News & World Report, United States  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  14. ^ a b Nesita, Kwan; Lutz, Bj (18 June 2009), "Hospitals of the Future: Paperless, Efficient", NBC, United States 
  15. ^ "North Side Hospital Receives Prestigious Magnet® Recognition for Nursing Excellence for the Second Time". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  16. ^ "News Display Page". www.leapfroggroup.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  17. ^ "North Side Hospital Receives Leadership Award for Commitment to Patient Safety". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  18. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital receives Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council Disrupter Award". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  19. ^ "Blue Distinction Center Finder/Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+". 
  20. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital Gets 'A' for Safety". 
  21. ^ a b "Chicago Back Pain Center Aims to Avoid Surgery". HealthLeaders Media. July 16, 2010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "intro_speech_pt" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  22. ^ "Beating back pain". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  23. ^ "Community Comprehensive Cancer Program Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2007. 
  24. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital and Rush University Medical Center Collaborate to Enhance Cancer Services in Chicago | News Releases | Rush University Medical Center". Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  25. ^ "Cancer Services". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  26. ^ The Science of Precision. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2009. 
  27. ^ "Emergency Services". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  28. ^ a b "Swedish Covenant Celebrates Expanded Emergency Center". The Evangelical Covenant Church. March 16, 2007. 
  29. ^ "Cardiac Care Unit". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  30. ^ a b "Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  31. ^ "About Physical Therapy Program". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  32. ^ "Specialty Programs | Swedish Covenant Hospital". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  33. ^ "Nursing Awards and Recognition". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  34. ^ "NICHE Program » Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders". www.nicheprogram.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  35. ^ "Swedish Covenant Hospital Earns Recertification as a NICHE Designated Hospital". swedishcovenant.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  36. ^ "Find a Magnet Facility". American Nurses Credentialing Center. 
  37. ^ "Journey to Magnet Excellence". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  38. ^ Intuitive Technology. "The da Vinci Surgical System". 
  39. ^ SCH Test Drives New Surgical Technology, Swedish Covenant Hospital Employee News Website, November 2, 2009
  40. ^ "Clinical Hyperbaric Facilities, Current and Completed Major Projects". Reimers Systems. 2006. 
  41. ^ The Science of Recovery. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 2009. 
  42. ^ a b Advancing a Healing Environment. Chicago: Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  43. ^ a b "About Canine Therapy Corps, Swedish Covenant Hospital". Canine Therapy Corps. 
  44. ^ "The Art and Science of Healing", Chicagoland M.D. News, Chicago (October/November 2008), p. 13, November 2008 
  45. ^ Lauer, Charles (October 27, 2008), "Growing Evidence, studies show the therapeutic value of healing gardens", Modern Healthcare, Chicago 
  46. ^ PR Newswire (November 28, 2006), "Chicago Hospital Goes Organic With Patient Menus", Red Orbit  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  47. ^ Aguilar, Alexa (November 4, 2009), "Hospital food gets intensive care, healthy update", Chicago Tribune, Chicago  Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  48. ^ "Child Care". Swedish Covenant Hospital. 
  49. ^ "About the LifeCenter". Galter LifeCenter. 
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "2009 Swedish Covenant Hospital Fact Sheet" (PDF). Swedish Covenant Hospital. May 2009. 
  51. ^ Duke, Brad (2004). "1. An Ordiniary Upbringing". Harrison Ford: the films. McFarland. p. 5. ISBN 9780786420162. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 



External links[edit]