When patients come to the emergency room at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights, there isn't a large waiting room. Instead, they go straight to a private treatment room where a doctor sees them soon after.
Brinsley Lewis, the hospital's CEO, says GlenOaks is one of the few hospitals in the nation with a no-waiting room ER -- and he regards it as one of the hospital's major accomplishments during his 12 years at the helm.
Lewis is wrapping up his tenure at GlenOaks, and will become president/CEO of University Community Hospital-Carrollwood in Tampa, Fla. on Aug. 1.
"You're taken into the room immediately. Everything comes to you," Lewis said Wednesday at a farewell celebration in his honor. "You're the center of the universe at that time."
Tina Johnson, GlenOaks' community relations manager, said she'll remember Lewis for his work on upgrading the hospital's emergency services.
"I remember how proud he was at the ribbon cutting for the new emergency rooms," Johnson said. "He worked so hard at getting the funding and support needed to make it happen."
MaryAnn Palermo, the hospital's patient safety and quality officer, said the quality of care has improved since Lewis came on board.
"Brinsley is an outstanding leader with a wonderful strategic vision for GlenOaks -- for employees and patients," Palermo said. "GlenOaks was not even thought of before."
Lewis also helped develop a heart and vascular program, which he says has attracted "top-gun physicians."
In Lewis' 12 years, the size of the hospital's medical staff has grown from 150 to 350.
Looking ahead, Lewis said GlenOaks officials would be looking at remodeling and even expanding hospital facilities. Lewis has been working with Bruce Christian, the hospital's interim CEO, who might consider the position as a permanent assignment, officials say.
Before GlenOaks, Lewis spent nine years in various administrative roles at Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
• Daily Herald staff photographer Paul Michna contributed to this report.