A History of Caring

Thorek Memorial Hospital has been providing quality, progressive health care to Chicagoans since 1911, when Dr. Max Thorek founded the American Hospital - the forerunner to Thorek Memorial.

Dr. Thorek and his wife, Fannie, opened a 25-bed hospital primarily to serve members of the performing arts community. Some of our early patients included Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Harry Houdini and Buffalo Bill Cody - just to name a few.

Throughout the years, their son, Dr. Phillip Thorek, continued their strong tradition of community health care. Dr. Phil, as he was affectionately known, was Emeritus Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, an author of five surgical textbooks, a producer of more than 80 surgical films and a world-renown lecturer and speaker. Under Dr. Phil's direction, the hospital aggressively expanded its physical plant, increased the number and types of services offered, and added state-of-the-art technology and equipment to better diagnose and treat our patients.

Even with Dr. Phil's passing in 1998 at age 92, one thing remains constant at Thorek - the founding philosophy of providing "a human atmosphere where the patient is a person rather than a case."