Rush University Medical Center

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Rush University Medical Center
RUMC - new tower.jpg
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41°52′29″N 87°40′09″W / 41.874674°N 87.6693°W / 41.874674; -87.6693Coordinates: 41°52′29″N 87°40′09″W / 41.874674°N 87.6693°W / 41.874674; -87.6693
FundingNot for profit (US$ 555 million endowment)
Affiliated universityRush University
Standardstertiary care
Emergency departmentLevel II Trauma Center
OpenedMarch 2, 1837
ListsHospitals in Illinois

Rush University Medical Center (Rush) is a nationally ranked academic medical center located in the Illinois Medical District neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship location for the larger Rush University System for Health and serves as the primary teaching hospital in affiliation with Rush University.[1]

Rush University Medical Center provides 664 patient beds at its 14-story, 830,000 square foot location on Chicago's Near West Side. The campus is known for its butterfly-shaped design both architecturally and strategically as its post-9/11 layout was intended to handle mass casualties.[2] Rush offers more than 70 residency and fellowship programs in medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Rush is also the largest non-governmental employer on Chicago's Near West Side with nearly 10,000 employees and annual spending of over $550 million.[3]

In 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center the #2 hospital in both Chicago and Illinois and #17 nationally.[4] In the same report, Rush ranked nationally in 11 adult specialties including #4 in Neurology & Neurosurgery and #5 in Orthopedics.[5]


Rush Medical College was chartered in on March 2, 1837, two days before the city of Chicago was chartered. The college opened with 22 students on December 4, 1843. It was the first health care institution in Chicago and one of the few medical schools west of the Alleghenies. Its founder, Dr. Daniel Brainard, named the school in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the only physician with medical school training to sign the Declaration of Independence and who would later teach Meriwether Lewis basic medical skills for his expedition with William Clark to the Pacific Northwest. The general hospital associated with the medical college would be the first in Chicago.

The early Rush faculty, well known across the American frontier for its expertise, engaged in patient care, research and teaching, and was associated with a number of scientific developments and new clinical procedures. As the city grew, so did Rush's involvement with other developing institutions: St. Luke's Hospital, established in 1864; Presbyterian Hospital, which was begun at the urging of the Rush faculty in 1883; and the University of Chicago, with which Rush Medical College was affiliated and later united from 1898 to 1942.

In the early 1940s, Rush discontinued undergraduate education, but its library was maintained and its faculty continued to teach at the University of Illinois School of Medicine. In 1969, Rush Medical College reactivated its charter and merged with Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, which itself had been formed through merger in 1956, to form Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. Rush University, which now includes colleges of medicine, nursing, health sciences and research training, was established in 1972. The Medical Center officially changed its name in September 2003 to Rush University Medical Center, to reflect the important role education and research play in its patient care mission.

Rush Transformation[edit]

Today, Rush is a center for basic and clinical research, with physicians and scientists involved in hundreds of research projects developing and testing the effectiveness and safety of new therapies and medical devices. The Robert H. Cohn and Terri Cohn Research Building is a state-of-the-art facility where investigators are conducting research to identify the causes of a wide range of diseases. Rush is investing over a billion dollars in the Rush Transformation, a comprehensive construction and renovation program that includes a 14-story inpatient care facility and advanced emergency response center (opened in 2012), a five-story ambulatory orthopedic building that opened in 2009, a seven-story parking garage, a central energy plant, an underground loading dock, and renovations to existing buildings.

The new 806,000-square-foot (74,900 m2) East Tower hospital building would provide Rush with its first major new hospital facility in more than 25 years. The 14-level patient care tower houses acute and critical care patients, as well as surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic services utilizing the most advanced technology available. The new hospital would include expanded emergency services facilities including the Center for Advanced Emergency Response, a unique facility that would bring an unprecedented level of preparedness to Chicago and the region in the event of immediate and widespread emergencies such as pandemics or bioterrorism. The center is designed to have 40 exam rooms with “surge” capacity to treat additional patients in times of disaster. It is located on the ground floor of the new tower.

RUMC Tower south view, Chicago to the east in background

The new facility incorporates a concept called "interventional platform," a design model developed in recent years for centers like Rush that increasingly involve multiple medical specialists to treat patients with highly complex illnesses using the most advanced technologies available. Two other academic medical centers constructing new inpatient facilities, UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles) and Johns Hopkins Hospital Center (Baltimore), have or are incorporating the interventional platform concept into their new hospital buildings. The interventional platforms at Rush cover three floors devoting to surgery, imaging and specialty procedures. This includes new, larger operating rooms that can accommodate more specialized equipment and technology, including imaging equipment and robotics. Nearby, the facilities for interventional radiology, cardiology and neurosurgery, fostering more extensive collaboration between various medical disciplines. Locating these key services close to one another minimizes the need for patients and their families to travel to multiple locations in the medical center.

The top five floors of the east tower houses Rush's acute and critical patients, with each floor divided in half with two equal sections – or units – on either side. The 10th and 11th floors houses the hospital's adult critical care units, each floor having two 28-bed units. The remaining three floors are dedicated to acute care medical/surgical patients with two 32-bed areas on each level.

The design of the acute and critical care tower was created by doctors and nurses whose ideas about universal room design, standardization, efficiency and safety influenced the layout. They considered sight lines to rooms from the nursing station and the number of steps required to reach each room. Nursing stations are at the central core, allowing hospital staff to see into all the wings from one location. All patient rooms are standardized as either a medical surgical room or a critical care room, so that when caregivers enter any room in the new tower, they can able to quickly access supplies and equipment.

All patient rooms are private and offer family accommodations, such as daybeds for visitors. There are 376 beds in the new facility, and Rush will have a total of 720 beds in operation at the completion of the Transformation project.

Road Home Program[edit]

Rush University Medical Center established the Road Home Program in 2014. The program focuses on mental health treatment for veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related illnesses.[6] In 2015, the Road Home Program was selected as a founding partner of Warrior Care Network, along with UCLA Health Operation Mend, Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and Wounded Warrior Project.[7]


In 2019 U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center as tied for #3 in Illinois, #3 in Chicago metro area and one of the top hospitals in 9 different medical specialties nationally including:


The U.S. Department of Labor chose Rush University Medical Center to receive its prestigious 2007 Exemplary Voluntary Efforts (EVE) Award. The award recognizes federal contractors for exceptional efforts to increase employment opportunities for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans. Rush was one of only three organizations to receive the 2007 EVE award — along with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and the Public Service Enterprise Group, a Newark, New Jersey utility company — out of 17 employers nationwide that the Department of Labor invited to submit application proposals. Rush is the first Chicago-area organization to receive the award in more than a decade.


In addition to its mission in patient care, education and research, Rush maintains a commitment to the community. Rush reaches out to the Chicago community through such offerings as the Rush Community Services Initiatives Program, an umbrella for several student-led outreach programs designed to address the social and health care needs of residents in neighboring communities.[9] The Medical Center's community service efforts also include the Science and Math Excellence Network, a public-private partnership to improve the science and math skills of inner-city children through sponsorship of after-school science clubs, the construction of modern science labs in public elementary schools and other programs. The program serves nearly 50 elementary schools.


  1. ^ "Rush | Health Care, Education & Research Not-for-Profit | Chicago". Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ Guarino, Mark. "This hospital was built for a pandemic". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Leading the Country in Strengthening Communities". Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ Schencker, Lisa. "Two Chicago hospitals now rank among the top 20 nationwide". Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Overview of Rush University Medical Center". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ Marotti, Ally (June 2, 2015). "Rush to expand veterans program with Wounded Warrior Project grant". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  7. ^ Breslin, Ned (June 6, 2016). ""Big Bets" From Unlikely Philanthropic Investors". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  8. ^ "Best Hospitals: Rush University of Medical Center". U.S. News & World Report. 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Inner-City School Health Center's Comprehensive Reproductive Health Services: Enhancing Access to Screening for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Prenatal Care, and Contraception". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2014-03-26.

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