See the Eight Best Buildings in Health Care Design

Rush TowerWe already knew Rush’s Tower is a great building, but we still were a little awed by the company it’s now in: A group of eight stunning buildings that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected as the 2014 recipients of the annual AIA National Healthcare Design Awards.

These buildings represent “the best in healthcare design,” according to the AIA, which announced the awards at the end of July. “These projects exhibit conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban, and social concerns as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital.” (Founded in 1857, the AIA is a Washington, D.C.-based professional association for architects and their partners.)

Even the swanky design magazine Architectural Digest was impressed. It featured the Tower and the other award winners in this awesome slideshow on its “Daily AD” blog.

The buildings “push the boundaries of design to create uplifting spaces that are sensitive to the needs of patients and their families. It’s no easy feat,” blogger Asad Syrkett proclaimed.

Of course, these honors are nothing new. Last year, the Tower received the top award in the health category at the 2013 World Architecture Festival. It also was included as a finalist in two other prestigious international architecture competitions –  the World Architecture News Award and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Best Tall Buildings Award. In 2012, the Tower was one of only 10 health care projects in the world listed in global consultancy KPMG’s showcase of the 100 most innovative and inspiring urban infrastructure projects from around the world.

We’re glad to see the Tower get so much attention. We’re also thrilled it’s ranked among such great buildings. Give them a look.

Rush Earns Fifth Consecutive “A” for Patient Safety

patient_room-215Rush University Medical Center again has received an “A” for patient safety in a nationwide evaluation of hospitals by The Leapfrog Group, a national not-for-profit organization that promotes health care safety and quality improvement. It is the fifth consecutive time Rush has received an A, the top grade possible.

The Leapfrog Group released the spring Hospital Safety Score grades on April 29. This score represents Rush’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections.

“Rush’s consistent performance in the Leapfrog ratings reflects our staff’s ongoing commitment to patient effort and the daily effort of thousands of people to ensure that we maintain the highest quality standards,” said Cathy Dimou, MD, Rush Health chief medical officer.

The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety. The Hospital Safety Score is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families and is the first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety.

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Return to Haiti: Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes’ Blog

Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes with a 10-year-old Haitian boy, who broke his hand and foot after the earthquake in 2010.

Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes, orthopedic specialist at Rush University Medical Center, went with a team of doctors and nurses from Rush to Haiti after the earthquake hit to help with disaster relief efforts in 2010.

Two years later, Mjaanes fulfills his promise to himself to return to Haiti on another mission for ongoing disaster relief efforts.

Mjaanes decided to take a Flip Cam to take a video diary on this trip back. He will be sending updates to us from the field using Facebook and instant messaging.

Here is Dr. Jeffrey Mjaanes’ first blog entry: 

Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 1 p.m. CT:

I’m about to head back to Haiti for the first time since 2010. My first trip was with the Rush group that went 10 days after the earthquake in January 2010 that decimated the capital, Port- au-Prince and the country. We had to fly into the Dominican Republic as the PAP airport was damaged. We saw so many acute injuries and the immediate devastation first-hand.

This time we are flying into PAP directly. We will be spending the week again in and around some of the hardest hit areas.

I am excited to see Haitian friends I met on the first trip and to see the changes that have occurred since that first visit.

Our Rush team looks great – once again a collection of doctors, nurses, residents, students and therapists.

I will keep the Rush community updated with blog entries, photos and video.


Dr. Jeff Mjaanes
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics & Orthopedic Surgery
Rush University Medical Center

Renowned Kidney Disease Physician and Scientist Joins Rush as New Chairman of Internal Medicine

Nephrologist Dr. Jochen Reiser has been named chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University Medical Center.  Reiser, who joined Rush on Sept. 1, will also serve as the Ralph C. Brown MD professor of internal medicine at Rush University.

“Dr. Reiser is a world-renowned research leader in the field of proteinuric kidney disease.  He is credited with finding a major cause of a significant form of chronic kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis,” said Dr. Thomas Deutsch, dean of Rush Medical College, provost of Rush University. “He will be a major asset to Rush and we are fortunate to have his leadership in the department of internal medicine.”

Reiser comes to Rush from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine where he was the Peggy and Harold Katz Family professor of medicine, anatomy and cell biology. He was also the vice chairman for research in the department of medicine, chief of the division of nephrology and hypertension and the founding director of the Peggy and Harold Katz family drug discovery institute.  Prior to joining Rush, he also served as interim chairman of medicine for Miami.

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Come Out and Play a Steinway Grand Piano at Rush

Members of the Rush community are invited to play a Steinway.

Piano music will fill the fourth floor of the Atrium Building on Wednesday, May 23, as Rush hosts a Steinway grand piano as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Pianos in Public Spaces. Members of the Rush community are invited to play the piano, which will be in the Atrium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The piano is available on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone who wants to play it.

“The idea is that somebody walking by the piano can come up to it and play or even just tap out a few notes,” says Ian Harwood, one of the team leaders of the Piano in Public Spaces project and a fellow of the League of American Orchestras.

“We know there are many talented amateur pianists at Rush, and we hope they will take advantage of this unique opportunity to share their abilities by stopping by the Atrium at some point on Wednesday and playing for people there,” says Alicia Smith, MHA, associate vice president, hospital operations.

Pianos In Public Spaces is a joint effort by the CSO and piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons to put pianos in about a dozen public areas in Chicago, including the lobbies of museums, office buildings and hospitals. The event kicks off the CSO’s Keys to the City Piano Festival, a series of CSO concert performances of compositions emphasizing the piano, and related events, taking place from May 23 to June 12.

Harwood observes that Pianos In Public Spaces complements Rush’s mission. “Music is part of the healthy lifestyle and is healing. It has a natural place inside the hospital environment,” he says.

For more information about the festival, please visit


Leading Men’s Health Expert Joins Rush

Dr. Ajay Nehra

Dr. Ajay Nehra has joined Rush University Medical Center as vice chairperson, and professor and director of men’s health in the Department of Urology. Nehra comes to Rush from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he served as professor of urology.

“Nehra is a highly regarded researcher and clinician who is also a leading proponent of a comprehensive approach to men’s health where specialists in urology, cardiology, endocrinology among others consult with patients to address health issues that are frequently linked but often not recognized,” said Dr. Charles McKiel, chairperson, Department of Urology at Rush.

Nehra, with research interests in men’s health and erectile dysfunction (ED), male infertility, prostate cancer, has been the principal investigator for seven clinical multicenter studies on the efficacy and safety of a number of investigational treatments for ED. He is also a co-investigator in a National Institutes of Health project on aging.

“Often men come to a medical specialist at the urging of their spouses for a quality-of-life issue such as erectile dysfunction, and we identify other issues such as hypertension, heart disease or memory problems that must also be addressed to prevent illnesses in the future,” Nehra said. “Rather than merely treating symptoms, we take a broader approach to men’s health by looking comprehensively at current symptoms and their implications to prevent future problems.”

Read the entire news release.

Swimming for Cancer Research at Rush

Swim Across America’s 20th annual Chicago swim will benefit research at the Rush University Cancer Center.

Swim Across America (SAA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming events across the country, is hosting its 20th annual Chicago open-water swim event Saturday, Aug. 4, at Ohio Street Beach in Chicago.

The fundraiser benefits the Rush University Cancer Center, which comprises all of the clinical, research and educational efforts at Rush University Medical Center. The Chicago swim aims to raise $250,000 through the participation of 350 swimmers, including former Olympians.

“What Swim Across America has achieved in Chicago and around the country is incredible,” said David McClellan, SAA Chicago event chair. “We always set our sights high, but we expect a record-breaking 2012 event in hopes of funding groundbreaking cancer research at Rush.”

McClellan expects more than 10 former Olympians to swim in the event, including SAA president Janel Jorgensen McArdle, a silver medalist at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Jamie Rauch, a silver medalist at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and Craig Beardsley, a 1980 Summer Olympian and former world-record holder in the men’s 200-meter butterfly.

Swimmers must raise a minimum of $500 in order to participate in the ½-mile, 1-mile, 1.5-mile or 3-mile course. They may swim individually or as part of a team to honor friends and family who have been touched by cancer.

Read the entire news release. To register for the swim or make a donation, visit