Press Releases

November 06, 2008

State Approves Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital ’s Plan to Bring Freestanding Emergency Center to Grayslake

Grayslake, Ill. – The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board yesterday approved Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s proposal to designate the Grayslake Acute Care Center as a Freestanding Emergency Center (FEC).

“The Freestanding Emergency Center will treat a wider range of injuries and improve emergency response time for patients in the northwest part of Lake County,” said Thomas J. McAfee, President and CEO of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, which owns and operates the facility.

With today’s approval, the facility may now be licensed as an FEC by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The facility will utilize 14 emergency treatment beds in addition to the necessary ancillary services already on-site, including advanced diagnostic imaging, cardiology, physical therapy, and medical offices for many of the area’s physicians.

Currently ambulances have to bypass the Grayslake facility to take patients to other area emergency departments, but with today’s approval ambulances will now be able to bring emergency patients to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s FEC to be treated.

“The vast majority of emergency patients are treated in the emergency department and released, without being admitted to a hospital,” said Dr. Jack Franaszek, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. “In fact, at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, only 15% of emergency patients are admitted to our hospital.”

“For any emergency patients that come to Grayslake and do need admission to a hospital, an ambulance will be on-site 24-hours-a-day to transport them to the appropriate hospital for admission,” Franaszek continued.

The Grayslake Acute Care Center, located at 1475 E. Belvidere Road, is already open 24-hours-a-day every day of the week and is on pace to treat approximately 30,000 patients in 2008. The center is staffed by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital’s board-certified emergency physicians and trauma-trained nurses.

“The FEC will help patients in an emergency get treated faster,” said state Sen. Susan Garrett, an early proponent of the FEC and the sponsor of State legislation making FECs possible throughout Illinois. “Now there will be more opportunities for EMS professionals to respond in a faster and more direct way, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.”

Patients who already use the Acute Care Center services in Grayslake will still be able to utilize the facility for acute, non-emergency care. The licensed FEC will expand the number of patients who can be treated at the facility. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital anticipates that the FEC will begin accepting ambulance transports in January 2009.


Contact: Jane Griffin
Vice President of Philanthropy and Marketing

About Northwestern Medicine®

Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise more than 9,000 clinical and administrative staff, 3,100 medical and science faculty and 700 students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is used by Northwestern University.

About Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is a wholly owned entity of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. The hospital has more than 700 physicians board-certified in 90 medical specialties, located at its Lake Forest and Grayslake campuses and at facilities in Glenview, Gurnee Brookside, Gurnee Tower Court, Libertyville, Lindenhurst and Vernon Hills. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is ranked among Illinois’ “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, has been named the Consumer Choice hospital in Lake and Kenosha counties for nine years in a row by National Research Corporation and receives an "A" Hospital Safety Score from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is a Magnet hospital, having earned the country’s highest recognition for patient care and nursing and is rated among the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” guide by Working Mother magazine. For more information, visit

About Northwestern Medical Group

Northwestern Medical Group is a multi-site physician network with 122 physicians offering primary and specialty care services, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, dermatology, corporate health, executive health, integrative medicine, sports medicine, and travel medicine. Northwestern Medical Group has 25 locations throughout the Chicago area, including Chicago offices in the Loop, Streeterville, Wicker Park/Bucktown, Lincoln Park and Lakeview, as well as offices in Deerfield, Evanston, Glenview, Grayslake, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Libertyville. All physicians are on the medical staffs of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and/or Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.