Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is an academic medical center that encompasses a 613-bed hospital serving adults and children, the 61-bed Johnston R. Bowman Health Center and Rush University. Rush University Medical Center is home to one of the first medical colleges in the Midwest and one of the nation’s top-ranked nursing colleges, as well as graduate programs in allied health, health systems management and biomedical research. The Rush University Medical Center also offers more than 70 highly selective residency and fellowship programs in medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Rush it is the largest non-governmental employer on Chicago’s West Side and is the 20th largest private sector employer in Chicago, with over 8,000 employees and a payroll of more than $500 million.

In addition to its mission in patient care, education and research, Rush maintains a strong commitment to the community. Rush reaches out to the Chicago community through such offerings as the Rush Community Services Initiatives Program, an umbrella for several student led outreach programs designed to address the social and health care needs of residents in neighboring communities. The Medical Center’s community service efforts also include the Science and Math Excellence Network, a public-private partnership to improve the science and math skills of inner-city children through sponsorship of after-school science clubs, the construction of modern science labs in public elementary schools and other programs. The program serves nearly 50 elementary schools.

Rush University Medical Center is building a new inpatient care facility and advanced emergency response center. A new 806,000 square foot east tower will provide Rush with its first major new hospital facility in more than 25 years. The fourteen-level patient care tower will house acute and critical care patients, as well as surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic services utilizing the most advanced technology available. The new hospital will include expanded emergency services facilities including the Center for Advanced Emergency Response, a unique facility that will bring an unprecedented level of preparedness to Chicago and the region in the event of immediate and widespread emergencies such as pandemics or bioterrorism. The center is designed to have 40 exam rooms with “surge” capacity to treat additional patients in times of disaster. It will be located on the ground floor of the new tower.

The new facility incorporates a concept called “interventional platform,” a design model developed in recent years for centers like Rush that increasingly involve multiple medical specialists to treat patients with highly complex illnesses using the most advanced technologies available. Two other academic medical centers constructing new inpatient facilities, UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles) and Johns Hopkins Hospital Center (Baltimore), have or are incorporating the interventional platform concept into their new hospital buildings. The interventional platforms at Rush cover three floors that will be devoted to surgery, imaging and specialty procedures. This includes new, larger operating rooms that can accommodate more specialized equipment and technology, including imaging equipment and robotics.

Nearby will be facilities for interventional radiology, cardiology and neurosurgery, fostering more extensive collaboration between various medical disciplines. Locating these key services close to one another minimizes the need for patients and their families to travel to multiple locations in the medical center.

The top five floors of the east tower will house Rush’s acute and critical patients, with each floor divided in half with two equal sections – or units – on either side. The 10th and 11th floors will house the hospital’s adult critical care units, each floor having two 28-bed units. The remaining three floors will be dedicated to acute care medical/surgical patients with two 32-bed areas on each level. The design of the acute and critical care tower was created by doctors and nurses whose ideas about universal room design, standardization, efficiency and safety influenced the layout. They considered sight lines to rooms from the nursing station and the number of steps required to reach each room. Nursing stations are at the central core, allowing hospital staff to see into all the wings from one location. All patient rooms will be standardized as either a medical surgical room or a critical care room, so that when caregivers enter any room in the new tower, they will be able to quickly access supplies and equipment.

All patient rooms will be private and offer family accommodations, such as daybeds for visitors. There will be 376 beds in the new facility, and Rush will have a total of 720 beds in operation at the completion of the Transformation project.

The new inpatient facility will cost about $617 million to construct and it is expected to be ready for patient use in 2012. Phase I of construction began in July 2007 on a new orthopedics ambulatory building, parking structure, power plant and underground loading docks and materials delivery system. The third phase of the project includes a major renovation and integration of selected existing Rush patient care facilities, followed by the removal of old, obsolete facilities. Construction on the new inpatient care facility is expected to begin in the summer of 2008. The architectural firm of Perkins+Will is designing the orthopedic ambulatory building, the power plant and the new hospital.

Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.


Rush Medical College was chartered in on March 2, 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was chartered. The college opened with 22 students on December 4, 1843. It was the first health care institution in Chicago and one of the few medical schools west of the Alleghenies. Its founder, Dr. Daniel Brainard, named the school in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the only physician with medical school training to sign the Declaration of Independence and who would later teach Meriwether Lewis the basics medical skills for his expedition with William Clark to the Pacific Northwest. The general hospital associated with the medical college would be the first in Chicago.

The early Rush faculty, well known across the American frontier for its expertise, engaged in patient care, research and teaching, and was associated with a number of scientific developments and new clinical procedures. As the city grew, so did Rush’s involvement with other developing institutions: St. Luke’s Hospital, established in 1864; Presbyterian Hospital, which was begun at the urging of the Rush faculty in 1883; and the University of Chicago, with which Rush Medical College was affiliated and later united from 1898 to 1942.

In the early 1940s, Rush discontinued undergraduate education, but its library was maintained and its faculty continued to teach at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. In 1969, Rush Medical College reactivated its charter and merged with Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital, which itself had been formed through merger in 1956, to form Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. Rush University, which now includes colleges of medicine, nursing, health sciences and research training, was established in 1972. The Medical Center officially changed its name in September 2003 to Rush University Medical Center, to reflect the important role education and research play in its patient care mission.

Today, Rush is a thriving center for basic and clinical research, with physicians and scientists involved in hundreds of research projects developing and testing the effectiveness and safety of new therapies and medical devices. Some of the most exciting projects at Rush are under way in the Robert H. Cohn and Terri Cohn Research Building, a state-of-the-art facility where investigators are conducting research to identify the causes of a wide range of diseases.

The U.S. Department of Labor chose Rush University Medical Center to receive its prestigious 2007 Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award. The award recognizes federal contractors for exceptional efforts to increase employment opportunities for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans. Rush was one of only three organizations to receive the 2007 EVE award — along with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and the Public Service Enterprise Group, a Newark, New Jersey utility company — out of 17 employers nationwide that the Department of Labor invited to submit application proposals. Rush is the first Chicago-area organization to receive the award in more than a decade.

Life Trustees

*Mrs. Frederick M. Allen
*Roger E. Anderson
*Mrs. Bowen Blair
*Edward McCormick Blair
*William F. Borland
*John H. Bryan
*Donald B. Davidson
*The Rev. David A. Donovan
*Bernard J. Echlin
*John P. Frazee, Jr.
*David W. Grainger
*Robert J. Hasterlik, MD
*Leo M. Henikoff, MD
*Mrs. Edward Hines
*Thomas R. Hodgson
*Edgar D. Jannotta
*Thomas J. Klutznick
*Vernon R. Loucks, Jr.
*The Rt. Rev. James W. Montgomery
*Donald E. Nordlund
*Robert A. Pritzker
*Maribeth S. Rahe
*Thomas A. Reynolds, Jr.
*Thomas H. Roberts, Jr.
*Patrick G. Ryan
*John J. Shea
*Robert A. Southern
*Philip W. K. Sweet, Jr.
*Frank J. Techar
*Bide L. Thomas
*Marilou von Ferstel
*H. Blair White

External links

* [ Official Site of Rush University Medical Center]
* [ Information on Spinal Fusion Treatment]

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