Pam Davis always knew she wanted to work in a hospital.
“I like the smell of hospitals. I like how it was organized. I like that people all had jobs to do but it had to work together. I found the process fascinating,” said Davis.
After holding various administrative roles and a Chief Officer position at nearby hospitals, Pam made her way to Naperville in 1988, where she began to shape the hospital.
“I was looking for something to jumpstart a change, something that was innovative and different from the other hospitals and there were a couple of things that we did,” she said.
The first of which was to design private patient rooms at Edward, a model that other hospitals would follow.
“I took probably one of the biggest risks of my life to design all private patient rooms. It was the first hospital in Illinois to ever do such a thing and that too said something to the employees, the physicians and the community,” said Davis.
And from that change, came many other additions to the hospital, like the first of its kind Heart Hospital, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
And with both of her parents being physicians pam had a different perspective on the health-care industry, leading her to make improvements to the relationship between doctors and administrators.
“I met with as many physicians as I could to find out what programs they felt we should be developing, what they thought about the physical space, what equipment did they want?” said Davis. “For the first time they got to figure out what would make a difference in their lives here and in their patient’s life.”
But Davis didn’t just do work inside the hospital. She also made headlines when she played a role in getting a number of officials, including former Governor Rod Blagojevich, convicted of pay to play schemes while trying to get a $218 million hospital built in Plainfield.
During her almost 30 years, Davis will also be remembered for her accomplishments with the therapy dog program, cancer center and helping Edward Hospital be named one of the best in the nation – an accolade she attributes to her staff.
“I knew that I wanted to attract those people who did want to be scientists coupled with the fact that they really did want to make a difference in the patient care and nurturing and dealing with families,” added Davis.
While she will no longer physically be at the hospital, her name will live on for years to come.
Pam Davis Drive will forever be named for the woman that helped what was once a small hospital grow into a major healthcare system.
Pam Davis will officially retire in June. Mary Lou Mastro, a longtime Veteran at Edward-Elmhurst Health will take her role as System CEO.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.