Exterior of Loyola University Medical Center building with 50 year anniversary seal.

Loyola University Medical Center Celebrates 50 Years

May 22, 2019

Loyola University Medical Center opened on May 21, 1969, and is now the flagship of Loyola Medicine – the premier health system in the western suburbs, which has cared for hundreds of thousands of hospital patients and millions of outpatients.

See some of Loyola University Medical Center's major medical milestones below:

More on Loyola's History and Major Milestones:

Loyola has had a remarkable history. The Maywood campus once was an auto race track and a runway used by Charles Lindbergh for delivering mail. Later it became the location of Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital.

During John F. Kennedy's presidency, the federal government deeded 62 acres of vacant land on the east side of Hines to Loyola University for a medical school and hospital.

The university moved Stritch School of Medicine to Maywood in 1967, and the hospital opened two years later.

The Neuroscience Research Institute opened in 1982, the Cardiovascular Research Institute in 1983, a new surgical pavilion in 1986, a neonatal intensive care unit and 10-bed heart transplant unit in 1987 and the Emergency Medical Services building in 1993.

In 1994, Loyola opened an innovative new cancer center. Patients, doctors, nurses and scientists came together in one building, connected by an atrium. The design, unique at the time, promoted collaboration between clinicians and researchers.

The cancer center later was named in honor of the late Archbishop of Chicago, His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, who was treated for pancreatic cancer at Loyola.

In 1997, Stritch moved into the new John and Herta Cuneo Center, and in 2012 the Marcella Neihoff School of Nursing & Center for Collaborative Learning opened.

The Loyola Outpatient Center opened in 2003. The center brings together dozens of medical services in one location to collaborate on complex care. The building has a relaxed, open setting, with a café, comfortable seating areas and a healing garden.

In 2011, Loyola became a member of Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the nation.

In 2016, Loyola, Loyola University Chicago and Trinity Health opened the five-story, $137 million Center for Translational Research & Education on the Maywood campus.

The 225,000 square-foot building houses 500 students, faculty and staff who conduct medical research from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside.

Gottlieb Memorial Hospital became part of Loyola Medicine in 2008, and MacNeal Hospital joined in 2018. Loyola also maintains a close affiliation with Hines VA.

Some of Loyola's major medical milestones include:

  • In 2004, the neonatal intesive care unit cared for a baby girl who weighed just 9.2 ounces at birth. At the time, she was the world's smallest surviving baby.
  • Loyola is the first in the state to offer a noninvasive test for coronary artery disease called HeartFlow® and a groundbreaking MRI-guided radiation therapy called MRIdian® that targets tumors with millimeter precision.
  • Loyola was among the first centers to offer a minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure that does not require open heart surgery.
  • Loyola established Chicago's first heart transplant program in 1984 and first lung transplant program in 1988.
  • Loyola performed the first double-lung transplant in Illinois in 1990 and a double-lung-and-kidney transplant in 2007.
  • In 2019, Loyola performed its 1,000th lung transplant – more than all Illinois transplant centers combined.

There have been dramatic changes in medicine and surgery during the last 50 years. What hasn't changed is our unwavering commitment to provide compassionate and uncompromising care, treating the whole patient, mind, body and spirit.