New, Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Center for Women and Infants to Open at Rush

The New Rush Family Birth Center to Be the City’s Most Advanced Facility for Women’s and Children’s Services

Ivy's Story

Ivy’s Story

The opening of the new Rush Family Birth Center will offer every service related to delivery and caring for a baby on the same floor.

“As part of the Rush Transformation plans that led to our new Tower building, the new Rush Family Birth Center was designed with the mindset of meeting families’ needs and providing patient safety and optimal outcomes,” said Dr. Larry J. Goodman, CEO at Rush.  “We have always provided advanced, quality care that is evidence based.  Now, we have a new facility that matches the type of care we provide mothers and their newborns.”

The new Rush Family Birth Center is located on a single floor at Rush and scheduled to open on March 9.

The space was designed with four key care concepts, which were to provide adjacency, privacy, family space and mother baby bonding. The new center has large, individual rooms to keep moms, babies and families together throughout their journey.

No other hospital in Illinois has located its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit immediately adjacent to labor and delivery to afford newborn infants in distress specialty care in the first minutes of life. Patient safety as well as convenience inspired the design.

“The first 10 minutes of life are critical to newborns who come into the world in distress,” said Dr. Robert Kimura, neonatologist at Rush.  “Because of the way we designed these new facilities, babies that need special care can be put in the hands of neonatal medicine intensive care specialists within seconds after delivery.

“At Rush, the birthing suites and operating rooms are right next to the NICU resuscitation room, so that a team of specialists can immediately and optimally care for babies in crisis,” said Kimura.

The antepartum rooms also are near labor and delivery, so in urgent situations women and their babies can promptly get the care they need.

Keeping services close and right next door to each other limits how far and how often babies need to move, which helps limit their risk of infection and reduces exposure to light and sound to help with the baby’s development.

For more information about the new Rush Family Birth Center, visit Rush Transformation.

 Read the Discover Rush story.

 Read the entire news release.


New, More Effective Treatment Option for Breast Cancer

Rush University Medical Center researchers participated in clinical trials for promising new drug against aggressive breast cancer

KacylaPatients with HER2-positive breast cancer, a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, now have a new, effective and less toxic therapeutic option.

On Friday, Feb. 22, the Food and Drug Administration approved the new treatment drug, Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), also known as TDM-1, which combines Traztuzumab, also called Herceptin, with the powerful chemotherapy drug emtansine.

Rush was one of only two medical centers in Illinois and a small number across the country studying the treatment.

The drug therapy is developed by Roche-owned Genentech, which funded the study.

Results from clinical trials of the drug TDM-1, known as “Super Herceptin”, showed that it was more effective and less toxic than the standard regimen for this type of tumor.  The medication kept patients free of disease for longer than the standard chemotherapy regimen.

HER-2 positive breast cancer patients have been found to be positive for carrying a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. TDM-1 is taken directly to cells that have the HER2 protein on the membrane, such as the cancer cells, while sparing normal cells.  This results in less toxicity from the chemotherapy drug.

“TDM-1 works like the original drug Herceptin by hunting down and interfering with the cancer cells,” said Dr. Melody Cobleigh, director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Clinic at Rush and lead investigator of the TDM-1 clinical trials at Rush.

“But this newer version, called TDM-1, is Herceptin with a chemotherapy drug attached. The combination delivers a one-two punch, seeking out the cancer cells and not only stopping growth but delivering the chemo right to the cell.”

The tumor cell basically eats the TDM-1 and then, the TDM-1 gets released and destroys the tumor cell from the inside out,” said Cobleigh.

“The best part for patients is that it is very tolerable and does not have the debilitating side effects characteristic of other cancer drugs,” said Cobleigh.

Read the entire news release.

Free Screenings for Filipino Women During Study

Filipino women between 40 and 65 years old can receive free screenings for cholesterol and diabetes while participating in a heart health study June 9 and 10 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rush University Medical Center’s Heart Center for Women at 1725 W. Harrison St. in Chicago.

This 400-person study, an evaluation of the impact that factors such as genetics have on heart health,  is specifically seeking women who don’t suffer from cancer, lupus, or acute or chronic inflammatory diseases. Blood will be drawn by licensed professions. A minimum of eight hours of fasting is required prior to the exam, which lasts 30 to 45 minutes.

Please bring all prescription and non-prescription medications. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call (847) 612-7206.

Live Health Chats at the Tribune

There are many ways to keep informed about health care, and the latest is through live health chats with medical experts sponsored by the Chicago Tribune.  You can get your questions about a whole variety of topics answered — from sports injuries to winter illnesses.  And if you can’t log in at the scheduled time, you can always email your questions in advance.

The chats with health care experts are moderated by the Tribune’s health journalists, some of the best and most experienced in the nation.

Judy Graham is moderating monthly chats for older adults.  Tomorrow’s chat, at noon CST, will be on hormone therapy and menopause, a topic that is in the news again, with several studies exploring associations between HRT and breast cancer. Other recent studies have looked at hormone therapy and lung cancer, and the impact of hormone therapy on mortality.

Judy will have on her panel two leading national experts who can help explain the scientific evidence and translate it into practical advice for women.

And next month, two Rush experts on transitional care — when older adults return home, or to a rehab facility or nursing home — will be featured.

Be sure to tune in — and send Judy your questions in advance to if you can’t make it.

Only Half of Women Over 40 Get Mammograms

Only half of women over 40 who have insurance get annual mammograms according to a new study by Medco Health Solution, Inc. And only 65 percent of women ages 50 to 64, the group that most benefits from mammograms, are getting mammograms every two years according to the study of insurance claims from 2006 through 2009.

At Rush, we have a unique new program to encourage all women, those with and without insurance, to get annual mammograms. Shama Shrestha, RN, is Rush’s first breast health nurse navigator, a position developed to help overcome barriers such as language, health literacy, logistics and fear that have been identified as reasons why some women don’t get mammograms.

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Cyclists Ride for Breast Cancer Research at Rush

For Kim Cook, the founder of the Pink Ribbon Cyclists and a patient at Rush University Medical Center, July 23 will be a day she will never forget.

Over the past ten years, Kim Cook and several other bicyclists have volunteered to bike five days and 370 miles from Chicago to Three Lakes, Wisconsin, and back in an effort to raise money for the breast cancer research program at Rush University Medical Center.

Cook’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, and then her two sisters were also diagnosed with breast cancer. Cook and both of her sisters have been patients of Dr. Melody Cobleigh, director of the Coleman Comprehensive Breast Cancer Clinic at Rush.   Cook started the Pink Ribbon Cyclists to help raise awareness and funds for the breast cancer research. Since then, the Pink Ribbon Cyclists have raised more than $100,000 and 100 percent of the proceeds go back to Rush.

At the finish line celebration on Friday, July 23, the Pink Ribbon Cyclists received a warm welcome from doctors, nurses, patients and staff at Rush as well as their friends and family.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was at the finish line to greet the cyclists and make an official proclamation that July 23 will be known as Pink Ribbon Cyclists Day.

Read more about the Pink Ribbon Cyclists and their experience on the five-day bike ride on Kim Cook’s blog. For more information about Kim Cook, please contact the media relations department at (312) 942-0588.

Rush Ranked One of America’s Best Hospitals

Rush University Medical Center has once again been named one of the nation’s top hospitals in a number of specialties in the upcoming issue of U.S.News & World Report. Rush is ranked among the best in 11 of 16 categories included in the magazine’s annual “America’s Best Hospitals” issue.

Just 152 out of 4,852 hospitals in the United States, about 3 percent, scored high enough this year to rank in even a single specialty, according to the magazine.

“High-stakes medicine calls for more than the usual brand of doctoring. When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you. These are hospitals that are accustomed to seeing the sickest patients, day in and out.” —U.S.News & World Report magazine editors.

Rush is ranked higher than any other program in Illinois in orthopedics — at No. 10 in the nation — and in geriatrics at No. 22 in the nation.

The rankings of other Rush programs are: cancer, No. 43; ear, nose and throat (ENT), No. 32; gastroenterology, No. 41; gynecology, No. 41; heart and heart surgery, No. 25; kidney disorders, No. 43; neurology and neurosurgery, No. 14; pulmonology, No. 49; and urology, No. 41.

Read the entire news release.