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About Rush Equal Opportunity, Diversity
and Affirmative Action

Established in 1974, the Office for Equal Opportunity resides in the Office of Government Affairs, which is led by Terry Peterson, VP of Corporate and External Affairs. The responsibilities of the Office for Equal Opportunity include:

  • Supporting the implementation of equal opportunity and affirmative action programs, policies and procedures on harassment, programs related to the Americans With Disabilities Act and other civil rights and diversity policies and programs.
  • Collecting and disseminating faculty, student and house staff data.
  • Strengthening of a positive relationship on civil rights matters between Rush and government entities or civic and professional organizations.

In carrying out its responsibilities, some of which are noted below, the Office for Equal Opportunity works closely with Human Resources, the university provost and college deans, and other Medical Center officers and departments.

President’s Statement on Equal Opportunity,
Diversity and Affirmative Action

For over three decades, the Rush approach to equal opportunity and diversity has not wavered. It is that equal opportunity and diversity in employment, education and the delivery of health care are essential and must be furthered. This is a continuation of a policy that emanated from the hospital charters of 1865 and 1883 and the documents governing the establishment of Rush University in 1972.

Discrimination or harassment against any member of the Rush University Medical Center community (i.e., employee, faculty, house staff, student, or patient) because of race, color, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or parental status, disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, or any other category protected by federal or state law is prohibited and will not be tolerated, nor will any person for those reasons be excluded from the participation in or denied the benefits of any program or activity within Rush University Medical Center or Rush University. For issues related to sexual or other harassment, contact the equal opportunity officer, Shanon Shumpert, at (312) 942-5239. You may also call the Rush Hotline to register a complaint at (877) RUSH-009.

In certain instances, the implementation of this policy requires the use of affirmative action initiatives. At Rush, these are focused on strong recruitment and programming efforts, not on the use of quotas and these recruitment and programming efforts will be continued, consistent with federal, state and municipal guidelines.

Larry J. Goodman, MD

The following programs are among those which have been implemented to accomplish this mandate:

  • Annual Rush Affirmative Action Program since 1975.
  • Longitudinal data covering 30 years on Rush University faculty, house staff and students by gender and ethnicity.
  • Broad-based program since 1984 for the prevention of sexual harassment and harassment of all other protected classes, including an annual memorandum from the president to the Rush community.
  • Widely recognized and honored programs for providing accessibility and other accommodations for patients, employees, faculty, students and visitors with disabilities, and for advocating for disability rights within and beyond the Rush community.
  • Thonar Award given annually since 1991 to a member of the Rush community for efforts to “turn a disability into a possibility.”
  • Four full-time Spanish interpreters and provision of interpreters for multiple other languages, including sign language. Call Interpreter Services at 563-2987
  • Patient forms, brochures and signage in Spanish.
  • Program to permit service animals for inpatients, outpatients and visitors
  • Outreach to and recruitment of employees and students from underrepresented groups.
  • Human Resources training related to ethnic and religious diversity and respect.
  • Health benefits for same-sex domestic partners since 2000.
  • Service to economically and ethnically diverse communities of Chicago, especially those on the West Side, through:
  1. Chicago “Principal for a Day” Program
  2. Community health fairs and clinics
  3. Science and Math Excellence (SAME) Network
  4. Rush Medical College Community Service Initiatives Program (RCSIP)
  5. RU Caring, an interdisciplinary, student community service project
  6. Summer internships and science enrichment programs for students from underrepresented groups
  7. Membership and leadership on numerous civic and community boards and commissions

Contact us:

Paula J. Brown, MBA
Project Coordinator
1725 W. Harrison St., Suite 128
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-7094
Fax: (312) 942-4283

Rush in the News:

Rush University Medical Center Honored for Equal Opportunity in Employment Efforts
Receives U.S. Department of Labor’s Exemplary Voluntary Efforts Award

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