Loyola Health System CEO, president proposes $1B overhaul

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After 15 months as president and CEO of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., Paul Whelton, MD, is unveiling a $1 billion strategic plan to bolster Loyola's teaching, research and clinical programs.

The 10-year plan, expected to be approved in June, includes money to convert the main hospital to all private rooms, as well as additional resources to bolster its network of suburban outpatient medical-care sites and $100 million for a research facility to retain and attract superior medical researchers, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In January, Whelton helped orchestrate the pending takeover of the 250-bed Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill., which will free up capacity at Loyola's nearby main hospital in Maywood, Ill., for patients with more specialized needs, the Tribune reported.

He joined Loyola in February 2007 after holding the position of senior vice president for health sciences at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and dean of the university's medical school.

"It's not the typical academic mind-set," Whelton told the Tribune. "We are expanding very quickly."

However, the hospital had $338 million as of April 15, only one-third of the cash that it needs, and it currently carries $360 million in debt, according to the Tribune.

Whelton said Loyola will embark on its major capital campaign beginning this fall, and he believes the hospital system will achieve yet-to-be disclosed fundraising goals.