Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital History

Dating Back to the Early 1900s

Palos Hospital opened its doors in March 1972, yet its roots date back to 1903 when St. Bernard Hospital was founded in Chicago by the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph. In 1920, the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph purchased several acres of land in the Palos Heights area, about 20 miles southwest of Chicago's Loop. A portion of this land, known locally as Mt. St. Joseph, eventually would become Palos Hospital.

From 1920 to 1955, this portion of land in Palos Heights supplied fresh produce, meat and dairy products to both St. Bernard Hospital and St. George Hospital, which the Order also acquired in 1939. By the late 1960s, this property was identified as an opportunity for new development as the Order acknowledged the growing southwest suburban area and the aging of St. George Hospital.

The Development of Palos Hospital

In collaboration with the local community, the Order worked to build a 265-bed facility on its property in Palos Heights at an estimated cost of $12.5 million. Ground was broken in 1970, and Palos Hospital opened its doors on The Feast Day of St. Joseph: March 19, 1972.

Over the years, Palos Hospital continued to grow, adding 160 beds and introducing sophisticated medical services in response to the community’s rising healthcare needs. In March 2013, the newly constructed Hospitaller Pavilion opened as the existing portion of the hospital, now known as the St. George Pavilion, was modernized. These projects allowed for the transition to all private inpatient rooms, as well as the development of an entirely new state-of-the-art surgical department with 14 operating rooms, an innovative 55-bay Center for Short Stay Care and expanded intensive care capacity.

Expanding Beyond Inpatient Care

In 1996, the hospital purchased an independent home health care agency, allowing it to provide an expanded range of services under the name of Palos Home Health Care.

In line with the growing population in the south suburbs, Palos took a progressive step in 1985 with the development of an outpatient center in Orland Park. The South Campus (now Northwestern Medicine Orland Park) allowed for the development of new programs and enhanced services. In 2016, Palos strengthened its commitment to the community with an expansion and modernization project. This contemporary and expansive 300,000-square-foot ambulatory destination houses an Immediate Care Center, outpatient surgical center, cardiac testing, laboratory, imaging and ultrasound, advanced radiation oncology, a pharmacy, offices for numerous physicians, and outpatient behavioral health, including a chemical dependency treatment program.

Sharing a commitment to serving the community with compassionate, high-quality care and state-of-the-art technology, Palos Health joined Northwestern Medicine in January 2021.