Meet Vernon Cail, a research assistant with the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He’s working on two studies, one involving childhood obesity and another examining food purchasing patterns in the Chicago area.
“We wanted to see what type of home environmental factors influence obesity,” he says, “so to do that we have to travel to the house to observe it, analyze it and assess the conditions.”
Cail visits homes throughout the Chicago area to meet with study participants, and while the traffic is trying at times, the interactions with participants make it all worthwhile.
“I really enjoy the relationships that I build with the families,” he says. “I enjoy spending time with people who share interests of mine: that’s to get healthy, to get kids healthy, hopefully get their household healthy.”
Photo by Rita Johnson
Photo by Paul Balash
Photo by Paul Balash
Photo by John Dewey
Photo by Bruce Orkin, MD
Photo by Ruben Gil
Photo by Paul Balash
Photo by Evelyn Perez
Photo by Teresa Deziel
Photo by Marc Brand, MD
Photo by Janet Tigas Wilson
To decorate its new clinic at Rush, the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery held a contest asking people to submit photos representing the Chicago area to help decorate the new space.
“We hoped to create a clinic space that was warm and welcoming, comforting and interesting, while being efficient and functional,” says section chief Bruce Orkin, MD.
After receiving more than 250 submissions from a broad range of people, including doctors at Rush, nurses, students, researchers and family members, a panel of judges selected 45 photos to be displayed in the new space, which opened in January.
“Once matted, framed and hung,” Orkin writes in the introduction to a book featuring many of the photos, “they transformed the suite into a vibrant gallery of artwork.”
Ciara McGrath was lying on the bed reading a book when the room went — as she puts it — “spinny crazy like you can’t even imagine.”
“I could barely walk. I was falling over,” she recalls.
After passing out and being resuscitated in an ER, she was referred to Rush University Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. First she underwent an ablation procedure, then electrophysiologist Richard Trohman, MD, implanted a cardiac device “to make sure I don’t have any episodes like that again.”
“I know that I’m safe now, and I’m more active than I’ve ever been in my entire life,” she says. “Dr. Trohman, the nurses, the entire staff here in the EP department, they’re like family. They took such good care of me, I can’t imagine not coming to see them at least once a year to have things checked out.”
Sheila Gamble has been a pharmacy technician at Rush University Medical Center for nearly 25 years.
“My job is important because what I do is I make sure I try to get the drugs out to the patient in a timely fashion,” she says.
Most of Gamble’s work is behind the scenes, so she doesn’t have much one-on-one contact with patients. But they’re always on her mind.
“The most rewarding part about this job is basically just knowing that we get a chance to get the medications up to the patients, and knowing that in the end they’ll hopefully feel better.”
This photo from the Rush Archives shows a clinic in 1900 featuring James B. Herrick, MD, a Rush Medical College graduate and faculty member who discovered sickle cell anemia.
Ernest E. Irons (Rush class of 1903), the intern who first brought the abnormal cells to Herrick’s attention, later became dean of Rush Medical College.
James A. Young, MD, has been praised by patients and colleagues for the dedication, compassion and hope he brings to the care of his patients.
In recognition of his efforts on behalf of patients with disabling brain injuries, Young received the 2013 Eugene J-MA Thonar, PhD, Award, which each year honors someone who has helped further the Medical Center’s commitment to providing opportunities for people with disabilities.
Young’s work at Rush goes beyond his official duties as chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He volunteers weekly with the Rush Neurological Family Information Group, which he founded in 2002. This group of volunteer health professionals provides information and guidance to the family members of brain injury patients at Rush.
“It is an educational group,” Young explains. “Families of brain injury patients are lost, they’re overwhelmed. We help them to ask the right questions and guide them on where to turn for assistance.”
By Daniela Mitchem
I began my social work internship with Rush Health and Aging’s Tower Resource Center in 2012. While researching internship opportunities, I was amazed by the new technology, teamwork and innovation that was taking place at Rush; I knew that it was the place for me.
As a Master of Social Work student, I had to identify an area of need within my internship placement organization and develop a project to address that need. I began to wonder where to begin in such a state-of-the-art organization like Rush.
Fortunately, my supervisor Anne Millheiser, a licensed social worker, introduced me to a project that had not been fully developed yet and was in need of “love and care” and creativity to better meet our patients’ needs. The project, which we refer to as rounding, requires regular visits to Rush’s waiting lounges, where I check in with patients, families, visitors and members of the community to raise awareness, educate and inform them about support and resources that are available to them.