Please send congratulations to Ruth Colby, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of business development at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Ill., for receiving the 2009 Award for Individual Professional Excellence from the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) of the American Hospital Association. She accepted her award from SHSMD President Diane Caslow during the Society’s Annual Conference this past month in Orlando.
Ruth was cited as a talented and innovative strategist who has successfully challenged her organization to push the boundaries, developing strategic alliances with academic medical centers, physicians and new niche-market entrants such as MinuteClinic. She and her team spearheaded the hospital’s IMatter program—a unique approach that rewards women for completing preventive health screenings by giving them discounts at local retailers.
In 2008 Ruth successfully led her organization’s efforts to obtain state approval for a $400 million replacement hospital at a new campus. As part of this project, she was instrumental in developing an innovative approach to addressing the healthcare, economic and social needs of Joliet’s East side neighborhoods. She created the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides independent oversight of the hospital’s ongoing commitment to the community. This year she led the effort to establish a freestanding emergency center in her market—the first such center licensed in Illinois.