Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

Moving to a home out in farm country was exciting back in 1965.  With 2 young children, my husband and I bought the perfect home with a large yard for a little baseball, playing croquet and room for a swimming pool.

Shopping, bowling and a movie theater just within walking distance made for happy parents and kids.  We seemed to have everything we needed except for a nearby doctor and hospital.

With a new baby in the house, the long trip to the city to see the family doctor was inconvenient especially since I was just learning how to drive.  It didn’t take long to find a local doctor in Elk Grove Village.  The kids played outside the better part of day and we seemed to keep him busy with broken bones, stitches and miscellaneous bumps & bruises.


We had to take the kids to St. Alexius Hospital in Elk Grove Village on Biesterfield Rd that had just opened in the summer of 1966. It was a long ride when you had a kid bleeding or screaming in pain.  It took a few trips to the hospital before I learned the route.  Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights had opened in December of 1959 but it was no closer and our doctor was not on staff there.  We survived those early years without our own hospital.  We now had 4 kids and kept the emergency room busy with all the mishaps that came from falling out of trees to falling out of bunk beds.

It was a wonderful day when American Medicorp built the Community Hospital of Hoffman Estates.  The doors opened on September 6, 1979 to a six story twin tower 356 bed hospital on Barrington Road just south of Higgins Road.

It was so welcome to all the families, not only in Hoffman Estates but other surrounding suburbs who, like myself, had those day to day emergencies with their little ones and health issues as us parents were growing older and in need of more care for ourselves.  Along with the hospital came doctors buildings and the Behavioral Health Facility.

It was difficult to keep up with the hospital’s frequent name changes.  It was sold to Humana Inc. and became Suburban Medical Center Hospital of Hoffman Estates, then in 1983 the name became Humana Hospital.  In 1993 the name changed again to Hoffman Estates Medical Center.  Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. purchased the hospital and the name changed once again.  It was now Columbia Hoffman Estates Medical Center.  This lasted for one year when it reverted back to Hoffman Estates Medical Center when there were plans to sell the hospital.  In 1999 Alexian Brothers Health System purchased the hospital and changed the name to St. Alexius Hospital.

With the opening of the beautiful Woman’s & Children’s Hospital in April of 2013, the St. Alexius Medical Campus is a dream come true for all of us.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Historian

The photo of St. Alexius Hospital originates from the PatricksMercy Flickr account.  We thank them for the use.  

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