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Physician gives major gift to Adventist GlenOaks Hospital

Glendale Heights, IL – A long-time emergency physician at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital has pledged a $500,000 gift to the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation, the largest gift the foundation has ever received.


Joseph Shanahan, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at the hospital, has worked at the hospital since it opened more than 25 years ago. He said he and his wife, Joann, wanted to give back to the hospital in a meaningful way.


The gift will go toward the Foundation’s $1.5 million capital campaign for the new Emergency Department, which opened in June 2007. With Shanahan’s pledge, the campaign has raised $1.1 million. The Emergency Department will be renamed the Shanahan Emergency and Trauma Center later this summer.


“Dr. Shanahan’s gift demonstrates his commitment to the hospital,” said Larry Golden, chairman of the GlenOaks Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. “He’s willing to go above and beyond to show how much he believes in the Emergency Department and the kind of care patients receive there.”


Adventist GlenOaks Hospital’s Emergency Department has a unique concept – there is no waiting room. Upon arrival, patients are escorted directly to a private treatment room where they are promptly treated. Shanahan is credited with bringing the idea to fruition after seeing a similar design at Ball Memorial Hospital in Indiana.


“We dared to be different,” Shanahan said. “We felt we could truly differentiate ourselves with an efficient design and patient comforts that can make for a good patient experience.”


That experience includes private rooms big enough to accommodate family members, high ceilings, natural light, soundproofing, flat screen televisions, Internet access and much more.


The Emergency Department offers a patient-centered approach to emergency care, which is often overlooked in emergency treatment, said Brinsley Lewis, President and CEO of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital.


“The Emergency Department will be Dr. Shanahan’s legacy to his community,” Lewis said.  “The department is the physical outcome of his philosophy of how an emergency room should operate.”


When the decision to expand the Emergency Department was made, Lewis looked for ways the hospital could stand apart from other emergency departments in the area. The department already was promising a 15-minute wait time and the hospital wanted to build on that concept. Lewis saw a story about the no-waiting room concept at Ball Memorial and asked Shanahan to research the idea.


“I’m always ready to listen to ideas that can improve patient care and service,” Lewis said. “Everything Dr. Shanahan came up with has the patient in mind.  It was easy to support his vision.”



Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital and Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. To find a physician, visit