Published on November 20, 2018

Happy 50th anniversary to GMC-Silvis today

50th Anniversary of Genesis Medical Center, Silvis

If you see employees at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis wearing “Fabulous at 50” t-shirts today, it has nothing to do with their age. They are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the hospital.

Illini Hospital opened with much community fanfare on November 20, 1968.

The grassroots journey to build the $3.7 million hospital for residents of upper Rock Island County began with a need to relieve an acute shortage of hospital rooms in the Illinois Quad Cities. At the time, the three hospitals in the Illinois Quad Cities – Public and Lutheran in Moline and St. Anthony’s in Rock Island (soon to transfer operations to the new Franciscan in 1972) – could not accommodate the number of patients.

The late Evelyn Perlmutter, president of the Woman’s Club of East Moline, encouraged her fellow members to make the building of a new hospital their community project. Her drive to establish Illini Hospital had the support of her husband, the late Dr. Harold Perlmutter, who performed the first surgical procedure at Illini.

“Patients were in the halls, surrounded by screens,” Evelyn Perlmutter recalled in a Quad-City Times story published in 2004. “We simply needed more beds.”

After the formation of a citizen’s committee, the purchase of a tract of farmland in Silvis, and two bond referendums passed by taxpayers in upper Rock Island County, “the hospital in a cornfield” opened to its first patient --a 23-year-old Deere & Co. factory worker.

By the time it affiliated with Genesis Health System in 1996, Illini offered a wide range of services beyond its hospital borders, from assisted living and long-term care to a physician’s network, occupational health, home health, and an ambulance service.

"Over the past 50 years, Genesis Medical Center, Silvis has become more than a community hospital in Rock Island County," said Theresa Main, the hospital’s president. "It has grown into a network of high-quality health care services -- offering everything from four levels of senior living to trauma care to state-of-the-art birthing care, diagnostic services and cardiac catheterizations -- to name a few distinctions. It has excelled with a tradition of patient-centered and award-winning quality care.”

The hospital has enjoyed many Quad City medical firsts, including:

  • A unit-dose pharmacy system in which pharmaceuticals were individually packaged in doses.
  • One of the first patient information systems in the country.
  • The first Quad City hospital to hire a full-time physician for its Emergency Department in 1971.
  • The first hospital-based ambulance service in the Quad Cities.
  • The first in Illinois to establish all LDRP rooms in the Birthing Unit, or rooms in which women went through labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care in the same room.
  • The area’s first bi-state integrated health care system, created when Illini Hospital affiliated with Genesis in 1996.
  • Illini began offering diagnostic cardiac catheterizations in 1998. In 2002, with the blessing of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, Illini became the first in the area to do emergency interventional catheterizations without an open-heart surgical program.

In addition to its service providing the health care needs of the region, Genesis Medical Center, Silvis has served the community in many other ways, from being a leader in advocacy programs to fight domestic violence to filling ambulance rigs with donation items for a women and children's shelter.

In 2004, Illini Hospital was renamed Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus. In 2013, it became Genesis Medical Center, Silvis.

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