Reaching ‘Beyond the Rush Borders’

By Terry Peterson

In 2010, the chairperson of the Chicago Public Schools asked Rush to consider adopting a little-known school named Simpson Academy for Young Women — the only Chicago public school for pregnant and parenting teens. The school, located approximately three blocks south of Rush’s campus, had a history of insufficient access to prenatal care and maintained dismal graduation rates.

Most of the young women attending Simpson Academy are from low-income families on the south and west sides of Chicago. Rush made a commitment to help make a difference by improving access to prenatal and pediatric health care services and health care education in order to help the girls successfully reach graduation.

Together, Rush leadership, the College of Nursing and the Department of Multicultural Affairs and Community Service established the foundation for building a sustainable partnership with Simpson Academy that will improve the quality of life for these young ladies. The result of the partnership between Rush and the Chicago Public Schools has resulted in a full-service health clinic and day care center at Simpson Academy. We also established a homework center and a job shadowing program to provide students with the help they need to focus on academic achievement and discover careers in health sciences.

Continue reading