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Community Affairs

The Department of Community Affairs serves as the liaison between the Medical Center and its neighbors. It has initiated a variety of outreach efforts and programs, including the following:

Coalition of HOPE

Coalition of HOPE is a diverse group of agencies and churches throughout Chicago working together to help families address challenges facing them. The group marshals resources to address community needs and to empower its members. 

Clergy forums

Twice-yearly clergy forums provide information, insights and resources for faith leaders as they care for congregations facing financial crisis, violence and other challenges. The forums also help faith leaders gain insight into their own health practices, because the more they know how to care for themselves, the more than can assist the people they serve.

SAME Network

The Science and Math Excellence (SAME) Network is a large-scale community service enterprise developed in response to the low science, math and reading test scores in Chicago schools in surrounding neighborhoods.

Formed in 1990, the SAME Network provides students in these neighborhoods with the same opportunities to learn math and science as are available to their peers in more affluent areas.

Rush Community Affairs staff spearheaded the SAME Network’s first effort to improve education in the area by raising funds from the community to build state-of-the-art science laboratories in local schools that lacked these facilities. Since then, the SAME Network has grown into a collaborative between Rush University Medical Center and 25 elementary schools, 11 high schools and many Chicago-area businesses.

The SAME Network includes the following:

  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten Program
  • Early Enrichment Program
  • College Preparatory Enrichment Program (CPEP) 
  • CPEP High School Internship Program

How to become a SAME network school

Schools located within these ZIP codes may be eligible to apply for admittance into the SAME Network:  60607, 60608, 60612, 60622, 60623, 60624 and 60661. 

For more information on the SAME Network, email: same_network@rush.edu or contact anyone from the community affairs staff below.

Community Affairs, Rush University Medical Center
401 Kidston Building
1653 W. Congress Pkwy.
Chicago, IL 60612-3833

Phone: (312) 942-5961
Fax: (312) 942-4041

Email: community_affairs@rush.edu

Reginald D. Adams, Director
Phone: (312) 942-5961
Email: reginald_adams@rush.edu

Verneice Cherry
Community Outreach, Coalition of HOPE, Adopt-A-Family
Phone: (312) 942-3634
Email: verneice_cherry@rush.edu

Nina M. Cunningham
College Preparatory Enrichment Program-CPEP
Email: nina_m_cunningham@rush.edu

Ellen Vigil
Preschool and Kindergarten Programs
Phone: (312) 942-2157

Email: ellen_vigil@rush.edu

Donna Zurina
TIF Program, Community Benefit Program
Phone: (312) 942-5997
Email: rzurina@rush.edu