News - Joliet and Will County

Silver Cross Hospital names Colby new president and CEO

Ruth Colby

NEW LENOX – Ruth Colby, already a familiar face in the community, will become the next president and CEO at Silver Cross Hospital.

Silver Cross announced Monday that Colby, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of business development at the hospital, will replace Paul Pawlak when he retires Sept. 30.

Pawlak, who has been CEO for 27 years, announced his retirement plan last year.

Colby herself has been at the hospital since 2005 and is well known in the community.

“I am honored to have been selected and I thank the Board of Directors for their endorsement of and confidence in me,” Colby stated in a news release announcing her selection.

Colby stated she looked forward to advancing the hospital's strengths and to "[ensuring] Silver Cross remains a treasured asset to our community and to the patients we are privileged to serve."

She will become CEO on Oct. 1.

Pawlak has been the longest-serving CEO at Silver Cross.

He stated in the news release that Colby is "the ideal candidate to lead Silver Cross and I look forward to a smooth transition."

Silver Cross board Chairman Douglas Hutchison Jr. in the news release stated Colby "was selected because of her successful leadership track record at Silver Cross in combination with her proven strategic abilities." He stated Colby will "preserve and advance our strong ties to our community and with our medical staff."

Colby has been active in professional and community boards, including the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission, which was created to represent the interests of people on the East Side of Joliet when Silver Cross built the new hospital in New Lenox.

"I'm happy," said Herbert Brooks Jr., a Will County Board member who also is on the board of the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission. "She's very well qualified and well deserving. Ruth Colby is a very well connected person in this Will County and Joliet area."

Brooks said Colby regularly attends meetings of the commission.

Colby also is a member of the Will County Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships Collaborative, the University of Chicago Medicine Cancer Research Women's Board and the Advocate Physicians Partners board.

She has an MBA degree from the University of Chicago.

Colby is past president of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, an American Hospital Association membership group.

She has held leadership positions at University of Chicago Medicine and Solucient (now Truven Health Analytics).

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News