Retiring Naperville hospital CEO gets day in her honor

The day she retires as system CEO of Edward-Elmhurst Health will be Pamela Meyer Davis Day in Naperville.

The city council designated the final day of June to honor Davis and commemorate her 28-year tenure as the leader of the city's main health care institution, Edward Hospital.

In her time at the helm at Edward, Davis nurtured specialties in cardiac, cancer and neurological care, built a sister hospital in Plainfield and merged with a third hospital in Elmhurst to form a Southwest Suburban system out of what once was a small, local facility.

And in 2004, as she negotiated to build the Plainfield hospital, Davis helped document corruption that led to the imprisonment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Standing with other Edward-Elmhurst Health leaders, including new CEO Mary Lou Mastro, Davis received the recognition of a day in her honor with a laugh and a few deflections of the praise that came from city and state officials.

“You transformed Edward Hospital from a small hometown hospital to truly an institution of world-class health care that's one of the gems within Naperville,” state Rep. Grant Wehrli of Naperville said. “You wore a wire that took down Gov. Blagojevich. You're a hero to me. You're a hero to the city.”

Officials praised Davis, 68, for shattering a glass ceiling as a female CEO.

Mayor Steve Chirico called her an inspiration and a friend. State Sen. Mike Connelly of Lisle said he'd put her on a “Mount Rushmore” of visionaries who transformed Naperville from a small town in the 1960s to the significant suburb it is today.

Davis has been serving as co-CEO with Mastro since Jan. 1 and has said she's leaving the institution in capable hands as she begins to “reinvent” herself one more time in retirement.

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