Rockford Surgical Service celebrates 50th anniversary

Rockford Surgical Service celebrates 50th anniversary


Rockford Surgical Service, S.C. completed 50 years of service to the northern Illinois medical community in 2000. Rockford Surgical Service (RSS) was founded in 1950 with a vision of bringing the highest quality specialty surgical services to northern Illinois. Today, that vision has become the largest provider of specialty surgical services in this area. RSS recruits highly-trained surgeons from the best medical centers in the country, blending academic excellence with personal, patient-focused care. These board certified specialists blend a background of general surgery with additional training, expertise and certification in the fields of cardiac, peripheral vascular, thoracic, trauma, head and neck, endocrine and burn surgery.

This training and commitment has supported the development of the region’s trauma centers, burn unit and peripheral vascular centers. As a new era of minimally invasive surgery dawns, Rockford Surgical Service has grown to include surgeons who have expertise in laparoscopic abdominal and thoracic surgery, as well as minimally invasive cardiac surgery. RSS achieved a milestone reached by few surgical practices nationwide when their cardiac surgeons performed open-heart surgery on patient number 10,000 in May of 1997.

“Rockford Surgical Service has a consistent record of dedication to patient care and surgical excellence,” said Warren Babcock, M.D., who joined the practice in 1967 and was president in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “All of our surgeons were trained in American medical schools and surgical residencies of the highest caliber. We always recruited individuals we perceived to be better than ourselves.” Many of the surgeons are board certified in more than one specialty or have certificates of added qualifications in surgery. Moreover, surgeons in the group were among the first in the United States with fellowships in laparoscopic and vascular surgery. A fellowship is additional specialty training beyond the five- to seven-year surgical residency.

RSS surgeons practice at two outstanding hospitals, OSF St. Anthony Medical Center and SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford.

St. Anthony Medical Center is part of the OSF Healthcare System which was ranked third in the nation as an Integrated Health Care Network by SMG Marketing Group, a Chicago-based health care information marketing company. The rankings were reported in Modern Health Care magazine (Jan. 31, 2000). SMG’s ranking analyzes a variety of a system’s performance areas. SMG’s top 100 was chosen from more than 500 health care networks from around the country. St. Anthony Medical Center was also the first hospital in the region to be listed in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of top hospitals for its pulmonary services, which support RSS surgical activities.

SwedishAmerican Hospital was named among the “Top 100” hospitals in the United States in 1999 from among more than 3,000, the only Rockford hospital to ever be on this list according to HCIA, a Baltimore-based Health Care Information Company. SwedishAmerican also received the Lincoln Award for Excellence, the top award given by the Lincoln Foundation. It is an Illinois award modeled after the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.

Rockford Surgical Service was founded to practice general surgery by R. Glenn Smith, M.D., and Miles J. Gullickson, M.D., with an office in the Rockford Trust Building. In 1957, the practice relocated to the Rockford Professional Building, 1221 E. State Street. Corporate offices were moved in 1981 to the current location in the Northern Illinois Medical Arts Building, 5668 E. State Street. This year, 13 Rockford Surgical Service surgeons will perform more than 5,500 operative procedures on patients from Rockford, Freeport, Dixon, Belvidere, DeKalb, Sterling, Princeton, Mendota, Beloit, Woodstock, Galena and Savanna in Illinois; and Monroe, Janesville and other cities in Wisconsin, as well as in Iowa.

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