Community Programs Aimed at Improved Health

Rush community benefits valued at more than $246 million last fiscal year.

Rush community benefits valued at more than $246 million last fiscal year.

Hundreds of students, faculty and employees at Rush were involved in a wide range of programs to improve the health and well-being of the communities surrounding Rush University Medical Center over the past year, according to the Medical Center’s community benefits report for 2013.

“Rush’s investment in the community stretches from charity care to community programs that have become bedrocks of Chicago’s West Side and beyond,” said Dr. Larry Goodman, CEO of Rush. “Rush’s commitment to the community is long-standing and has grown.”

Rush University Medical Center and its affiliated Rush Oak Park Hospital provided more than $246 million in community benefits in fiscal year 2012 — an increase of roughly $26 million from the previous year.

The majority of Rush’s investment in the community, more than $175 million, covered costs for unreimbursed but much needed care that Rush provides to its patients. That includes charity care and financial assistance, which totaled more than $25 million, and subsidized care for Medicare and Medicaid patients, which totaled more than $108 million. Rush is among the top 10 hospital providers of Medicaid days in the state.

Read the entire news release.

Chicago Bulls Participating in Free Rush Health Fair

The Spring Into Motion and Fitness Health Fair will provide much-needed care to people in Chicago who are living without health insurance.

The Spring Into Motion and Fitness Health Fair will provide much-needed care to people in Chicago who are living without health insurance.

The Chicago Bulls will take part in the ninth annual Rush University Medical Center Spring Into Motion and Fitness Health Fair on Saturday, Feb. 9, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Benito Juarez Community Academy, a high school in the Pilsen neighborhood at 1450-1510 W. Cermak Road. Registration closes at 12:30 p.m.

The annual health fair will include aerobic exercises and free health services, including screenings, school physicals, immunizations and health counseling for underserved Chicagoans. Rush University Medical Center is home to the team physicians of the Chicago Bulls and is the preferred medical center of the Bulls.

RU Caring, Rush University’s student-run organization, and Rush University Medical Center, collaborate with local sponsors to provide better access to health care for underserved communities from across the city of Chicago. This year, the Chicago Bulls organization will assist in encouraging participation. Organizers hope to reach more than 1,000 people with services at the fair.

The Spring Into Motion and Fitness Health Fair offers free physical health screenings, immunizations, dental and vision assessments and mental health services. Blood glucose, blood pressure and body mass index screenings are performed at the fair.

Read the entire news release.

Rush Commemorates MLK With Day of Service

Rush's day of service includes collecting items for U.S. military personnel serving overseas.

Rush’s day of service includes collecting items for U.S. military personnel serving overseas.

Rush University students and staff will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday through a day of service on Monday, Jan. 21. Students from each of Rush’s collegesRush Medical College, the  College of Nursing, the Graduate College and the College of Health Sciences — will participate in services throughout the day, including the following:

  • Collect toiletries and snack food at Rush for U.S. military personnel serving overseas.
  • Prepare breakfast for the people being helped at Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph at 2715 W. Harrison St., Chicago at 3 a.m.
  • Entertain patients and their families at the Ronald McDonald House at 5444 S. Drexel Ave. in Hyde Park, Chicago at 9:30 a.m. Continue reading

Supporting Health Care in Haiti, Dominican Republic

Art for Haiti — an evening of music, art, food and Haitian culture — supports health care missions to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Jennifer Towbin, MD, a primary care physician at Rush University Medical Center, was on a humanitarian trip to Haiti with the Global Health Program at Rush when a little girl jumped into her arms. The 7-year-old Haitian had never met the doctor, but the promise of health care prompted an exuberant greeting.

The girl’s family was afraid she might have lymphoma. Through the network of physicians at the Global Health Program at Rush, Towbin got her a biopsy that cleared up any fears. Dr. Towbin’s young patient is without both of her parents and proper schooling, but she has her health.

There are countless similar stories, Towbin says, and it’s partly why she’s so passionate about her work with the program, which made its first trip to Haiti 10 days following an earthquake there in January 2010 that left 316,000 people dead and 1 million without homes.

“Everybody should be able to receive health care. I don’t know why I would be deserving of health care just because I was born in the United States and not in Haiti or the Dominican Republic,” said Towbin, who makes trips along with colleagues from Rush to Haiti every six months. “It’s important to me to provide health care to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it.”

The Global Health Program at Rush exists in part due to help from fundraising events such as Art for Haiti, an evening of music, art, food and Haitian culture. This year’s event is Friday, Sept. 14, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Zhou B. Art Center (1029 W. 35th St., Chicago).

Rush partners with Wetzstein + Hosek Creative to raise funds to support the work in Haiti and the Dominical Republic. Doctors, nurses, students, residents and many others, all primarily from Rush, have been providing medical care to Haiti for 2 ½ years and to the Dominican Republic for more than seven years.

Artwork at Art for Haiti is auctioned and used to raise funds and awareness not only for Haiti but also the Dominical Republic. The proceeds go directly to support medical and community work in Haiti. For more information or to order tickets, please visit

International Award for Innovative Health Clinic

Rush’s school-based health center at the Simpson Academy for Young Women.

This past fall, Rush University’s College of Nursing began its third school-based health center, at the Chicago Public Schools’ Simpson Academy for Young Women, with hopes of addressing health care issues of pregnant and parenting youth.

Less than one year later, the clinic’s innovative efforts are recognized internationally.

The health center at Simpson Academy, a school for pregnant women and young mothers, received an International Connecting Nurses Care Challenge Award for its innovation in addressing health care issues of pregnant and parenting youth. The center is operated by faculty and staff from Rush University’s College of Nursing.

Rush is one of 10 winners in the Helping Hands category and one of only two organizations from the U.S. to be honored by Connecting Nurses, which is an affiliate of the International Council of Nurses and the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation. The award was announced in May in Geneva at the World Congress of Francophone Nurses.

This is an outstanding achievement for a health center that has been established for a short period of time,” said Marilyn Wideman, DNP, RN, associate dean of faculty practice and community engagement at Rush University. “This is well-deserved for the practitioners, clinic staff and students at Rush who work and volunteer at the Simpson Academy.”

The health clinic at the Simpson Academy, which opened in fall 2011, is one of three school-based health centers at Chicago Public Schools that is run by Rush College of Nursing.

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