SCH Honors Past, Celebrates Future Amid Transition to NorthShore

During a transition service at Swedish Covenant Hospital, Kurt Anderson, left, vice chair of the Swedish Covenant Health Board of Directors, makes a presentation to J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem, which will become the new owner of Swedish Covenant Health.

Inside Anderson Pavilion at Swedish Covenant Hospital, former and current administrators of Swedish Covenant Health and the Evangelical Covenant Church, as well as chaplains, doctors, nurses, technicians and health care providers, gathered to mark the transition of Swedish Covenant Health from the ECC to NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Called “Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future,” the service of celebration and blessing on Friday signified the end of a 133-year-old relationship with the Covenant, which began what would become Swedish Covenant Health in May 1886 by opening the Home of Mercy. Over the years, Swedish Covenant Health grew to encompass a 312-bed hospital on Chicago’s North Side, the Swedish Covenant Medical Group, the Galter LifeCenter, Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation and Swedish Covenant Physician Partners. Swedish Covenant Health will officially join NorthShore at the start of 2020.

“We begin this chapter knowing that our mission here continues,” Anthony Guaccio, president and CEO of Swedish Covenant Health, said at the service. “We are truly a family that cares for all. We have a rich heritage which began as a mission for the Evangelical Covenant Church to care for vulnerable people. I’m proud to say that we remain true to this mission.”

Swedish Covenant Hospital will continue its relationship with North Park University by serving as a training site for its nursing programs. It will also continue to partner with North Park Theological Seminary in its chaplaincy program.

NorthShore has four hospitals in Chicago’s north suburbs, as well as immediate care centers, orthopedic practices and primary care offices. Swedish will mark NorthShore’s first hospital in Chicago’s city limits.

J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem, said NorthShore and Swedish share a commitment to serving patients and communities.

“As Swedish joins the NorthShore family, we’re committed to honoring and celebrating the rich history of this hospital and its founding from the Evangelical Covenant Church,” Gallagher said. “We were humbled to be selected as the partner that Swedish Covenant Health chose to continue its mission of service, caring for the needs of a diverse community with professional excellence and human kindness.”

Citing Swedish’s violence prevention and housing programs and its role as a training ground for nursing students and chaplains, John Wenrich, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church, says the organization has “served and represented the gospel in this community so compassionately and resourcefully.”

“The ministry of teaching, preaching and healing is integral to the mission of the church,” he said, “and when we serve our neighbors in need, it is as if we are serving the Lord Jesus himself.”

Guaccio told the room that Swedish “will always remain grateful for our past, especially now as we look to celebrate our future,” adding, “Please know this: you are part of the Swedish family: past, present and future. Our doors are forever open, and you are always welcome here.”

Contact: Erin Chan Ding, executive director of communications, Evangelical Covenant Church, erin.chanding@covchurch.org

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