When Reginald “Hats” Adams, director of community affairs, joined Rush 45 years ago, diversity wasn’t a common term, and making an effort to maintain a culture of inclusion where everyone has equal access to opportunities was not a performance goal for all employees, as it is today. Nonetheless, Adams strived to promote diversity through his work and in his life, not because it was required, but simply because he felt it was the right thing to do.
In the 1980s, Adams saw there was a disparity in the science and math education that children were receiving in some areas of Chicago, including West Side neighborhoods around Rush. Since science and math are the core tenets of careers in health care, kids with limited education and exposure to those subjects have less of an opportunity to choose a health care profession. Working with the leadership at Rush, Adams initiated the Science and Math Education (SAME) Network, which engages children in these subjects at a young age by providing schools with training and equipment to improve how they teach science and math.
“He wanted to fill a void in the education of young people and prepare them for careers in the areas of math, science, technology and health care,” says Paula Brown, manager of Equal Opportunity Programs at Rush.