Rush University Medical Center is well-known in our community, but our community engagement remains one of Rush’s best-known secrets. To recognize and celebrate this work, Rush is hosting our inaugural Community Health Improvement Week.
All members of the public are welcome to join us between May 4 and 7 for a series of panel discussions, poster presentations and a keynote and awards session. You can register to attend the events here.
While Rush cares for patients from throughout the Chicago area, and even throughout the world, the main communities we serve are our neighbors on Chicago’s West Side, where Rush chose to remain even after other hospitals left during social unrest in the 1960s. This community includes the East and West Garfield Park, North and South Lawndale, and West Side and Lower West Side and West Town neighborhoods.
These are neighborhoods that struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, and the disparities in health that accompany them. Working amid these neighborhoods ensures that we at Rush see these problems, and our community engagement has developed in response to them.
Rush Medical College opened a new building at Dearborn Street and Grand Avenue in 1867 to accommodate its growing student population, only to see it destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. Faculty members and students stand amid the ruins in this 1871 photo.
What is your identity? Identity is a multifaceted concept rooted in culture, religion, sexual orientation, profession, personal philosophy, social roles in society and many other forces driven by nature and environment. There is no right or wrong answer. How I define myself may change over time and may be different than how others perceive me.
I am a faculty member at Rush University College of Nursing. I teach public health, community-based mental health, epidemiology and biostatistics and conduct research to improve the quality of life for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. I am also a retired noncommissioned officer of the United States Navy, a hospital corpsman, and a 100 percent disabled Gulf War veteran. So what is my identity?
On Feb. 17, 2010, while I was teaching high school science in the Bronx, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. I quickly left everything — my teaching fellowship, my master’s degree program and my friends — and returned to Chicago to be with my family and my mom.
I always knew I was going to work in health care, but I wasn’t sure which route or specialty I was really interested in. While I saw my mother suffering, I came to a very big realization: There is nothing in the world harder than watching someone you love struggle for a breath. It was the most helpless feeling to not be able to alleviate any of that hardship.
After caring for her through her illness (my mother passed away about 10 months after she was diagnosed), I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people breathe and supporting their loved ones. In 2011, I entered the Master of Science in Respiratory Care Program at Rush, where my mother received wonderful care, so I could help people care for their heart and lungs.
First-year Rush Medical College student Joe Santamaria met up recently with Rush University Medical Center CEO Larry Goodman, MD, for a conversation in the Brennan Entry Pavilion. In the interview, Goodman reflects on his time in medical school and the career path to hospital leadership.
“I never would have thought I would be doing anything other than practicing my entire career,” he says.
Staff and students at Rush University Medical Center gave up their hair for a good cause at the March 29 St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser, proceeds from which will go to pediatric cancer research. Learn more.
With a camera strapped to his head, fourth-year Rush Medical College student Peter Peloquin teamed up with Rush videographer Jason Chiou to record classmates’ reactions on Match Day last week, when they learned where they will serve their residencies.