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December 23, 2004

McCormick Tribune Foundation Gives $7.5 Million to Rush University Medical Center for State-of-the Art Emergency Preparedness Facility
CHICAGO- A state-of-the art emergency services facility at Rush University Medical Center that will include special equipment and designed to care for victims of major catastrophes will be named the McCormick Tribune Center for Advanced Emergency Response in recognition of the foundation's $7.5 million contribution.

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is one of the nation's largest charitable organizations, with current combined assets of close to $2 billion.

The center is an integral part of Rush's plans for construction and renovation of its campus on Chicago's Near West Side. The $37 million McCormick Tribune Center for Advanced Emergency Response will enable Rush to better respond to biological, chemical and other catastrophes. With its surveillance capabilities, it will also help Rush anticipate some public health crises. The center will benefit from its partnership with the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, as well as Rush's own extensive medical expertise in infectious disease and infection control and a central location that is close to other hospitals and related medical resources.

The new emergency department will nearly double the physical space and capacity of the current location. It will have 46 examination and observation rooms and 12 resuscitation rooms, will encompass from 46,000 to 50,000 square feet, and it will be able to accommodate between 65,000 and 72,000 patient visits each year. It will be built on vacant land immediately east of Rush's Atrium building located at 1650 W. Congress Parkway. The ambulance entrance will be on Congress Parkway. A parking lot and pedestrian entrance will be on Harrison Street. Rush's emergency department is currently located on Wood Street just south of Congress Parkway.

"This center will not only better serve our fast growing community west of Chicago's Loop, but also will help people from the larger Chicago area through the center's surveillance and mass treatment capabilities, "said Dr. Larry Goodman, CEO and president of Rush. "We are grateful to the McCormick Tribune Foundation for this lead gift to help us realize these exciting plans for our campus."

Rush has contracted with Health Services Engineering, a Maryland-based consulting firm that focuses on hospital design for the Department of Defense, to design the new facility. Its unique, flexible design, developed using simulation modeling, will allow Rush to expand work areas and respond quickly to any large-scale emergency, man-made or natural. The facility's large mass decontamination and triage areas will be designed to convert instantly into a facility able to handle mass casualties resulting from biological, chemical and other catastrophes.

Rush selected Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) in the spring to lead a joint venture to design and implement a major project to reshape the Medical Center's campus. They have completed the initial work of analyzing, reviewing and enhancing Rush's campus master plan. The next phase of work will involve refining cost estimates, phasing the project and schedules. As part of the most comprehensive construction and facilities renovation program in its 167-year history, Rush will, over the next 10 years, extensively renovate or replace existing patient care facilities; demolish the oldest buildings on the campus; expand ambulatory care services and expand research facilities. The estimated $550 million project will be funded through philanthropy, income from operations and debt financing.

While major components of construction are several years out, the first phase will include the McCormick Tribune Center for Advanced Emergency Response. SOM is currently studying how to best align other services around the center.

Rush and the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County were named bioterrorism preparedness Centers of Excellence by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in October 2002. The two Centers of Excellence will receive government bioterrorism preparedness funds to improve hospital capabilities in preparedness planning, disease detection and surveillance, infection control, communications, collaborations, education and training and more. Dr. Dino Rumoro, Rush clinical chairman of emergency services, and Dr. Julio Silva, associate clinical chairman, developed Rush's plans for a center for advanced emergency response.

Nationally, emergency room visits increased 18 percent over the past five years. Along with this trend, the threat of terrorist actions and the ever-present danger of natural disasters in large population centers all combine to create a pressing need for the creation of a sophisticated and flexible medical infrastructure capable of meeting the new healthcare realities of the 21st century. Rush has seen a 14 percent growth in emergency room visits over the past three years, despite severely outdated facilities housed in a 92-year-old building.


The McCormick Tribune Foundation

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is one of the nation's largest charitable organizations, with current combined assets of close to $2 billion. In 2003 it gave more than $82 million in the form of grants designed to invest in communities, address human needs and promote the ideals of a democratic society through innovative partnerships. The foundation, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2005, was first established as a charitable trust upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

The foundation provides assistance in four program areas--communities, education, journalism and citizenship--and funds a special initiatives program. Through its grants, the foundation seeks to improve the social and economic environment; encourage a free and responsible discussion of issues affecting the nation; enhance the effectiveness of American education; and stimulate responsible citizenship. For more information,visit

Skidmore Owings and Merrill partners

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's (SOM) partners in the joint venture for Rush are: SmithGroup, a national leader in health care design; Environmental Systems Design, the preeminent mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm in Chicago, in association with Anderson Mikos Architects, Ltd., of Oak Brook, Ill.

Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center includes the 613-bed hospital; 61-bed Johnston R. Bowman Health Center; Rush University (Rush Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College).

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