Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A woman uses sign language facing a laptop. Photo credit Disability:IN

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At Rush, excellence is for everyone. Our culture of respect and accountability reflects a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do.

At Rush, excellence is for everyone. Our culture of respect and accountability reflects a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do.

Diversity Strengthens Us

Here at Rush University System for Health, we commit to working together to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), which permeates the organization and deeply impacts who we are as a system and who we serve. Our DE&I report “Diversity Strengthens Us” highlights the progress Rush has made up to fiscal year 2020 and opportunities for growth in the future.

Read our latest DE&I report here
DEI Report Cover Read our latest DE&I report here

Diversity, equity and inclusion at Rush is ...

Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Holding us accountable for our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is our Diversity Leadership Council. This diverse group of leaders from across the Rush System is dedicated to ensuring that diversity is a key driver through measureable initiatives that address leadership and accountability, employee hiring, retention and promotion, and training and communication.

Gender equity. We continually work toward Rush being recognized as a place where women are fully integrated and equally represented across all areas. Our office of Women’s Professional Advancement houses our Women’s Leadership Council, a collaborative that focuses on addressing gender-related issues all across Rush through ongoing research, initiatives and programming.

Health equity. Here at Rush, we recognize that patients’ health outcomes are tied not only to the health care they receive, but also to the conditions in the communities where they live. On the West Side of Chicago, there’s a 16-year life expectancy gap between the Loop and six miles west to Garfield Park. Rush is committed to removing barriers to overall health so we can all reach our full health potential.

Community Engagement. Our health equity work is embedded in our DNA and reflected in our community engagement efforts and thriving community partnerships. It also serves as the foundation of our Anchor Mission Strategy, which allows us to use our economic power as one of the largest employers on the West Side to improve economic vitality for our neighbors.

Our health equity work also extends to other important communities we serve. Rush hospitals have all been named a leader in LGBTQ healthcare equality in the Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey of how U.S. health care facilities treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning patients and their families, as well as their own LGBTQ employees. Rush has also been consistently recognized as a leader in health equity, earning an equity of care award from the American Hospital Association.

Support for our veterans. Rush deeply understands the value of our veterans’ service, not just in the military, but here at Rush. We actively recruit veterans for hire and are able to identify transferable skills with dedicated career tools for Rush employment. We support our veterans with initiatives, including an active employee resource group along with services offered by the Road Home program at Rush, which provides comprehensive mental health services for vets and their families.

Support for individuals with disabilities. Embracing disability inclusion helps Rush achieve the excellence for which we’re known. Our ongoing recruitment efforts for individuals with disabilities helps them gain access to any services or accommodations they may need.

  • ADA Task Force: Addresses the concerns of individuals with disabilities employed at Rush and patients. The task force was established in 1991, soon after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. 
  • Disabilities Employee Resource Group (ERG): This group is active and growing. Through activities, information and awareness, this ERG promotes inclusion and diversity in the workplace. Members of the Disabilities ERG may also help recruit and retain candidates with disabilities and serve as mentors to other employees with disabilities. The Disabilities ERG is open to all Rush employees, with and without disabilities.
  • Recognized as a leader in disability inclusion: Rush was named one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion," based on high scores it achieved in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Disability Equality Index, which recognizes the many disability inclusion efforts Rush has already implemented and lays out a roadmap for the future.

Support for immigrant health. Our systemwide, interprofessional, interdepartmental and volunteer committee focuses on institutional change in operations, policy and practice to make Rush a more immigrant-friendly institution. The group has developed educational resources, methods and training to ensure patients who are undocumented feel safe while receiving care here at Rush and has become a much-needed advocate for change in treatment toward this population and other marginalized groups.

Older adult support. Rush supports older adults through our population health and social work departments to ensure our patients age in a healthy way. To empower our older adults, we offer Rush Generations, a free health promotion program for older adults and caregivers. The free membership program offers a number of services including physician lectures, health workshops, fitness and computer classes and other resources that enhance health and vitality.

Equal opportunity and diversity at Rush

For more than three decades, the Rush approach to equal opportunity and diversity has not wavered. 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, sex, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or parental status, or 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 discrimination or harassment, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity at institutional_equity@rush.edu. 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.

We believe diversity, equity and inclusion are powerful, uniting forces. And no health care organization is more dedicated to demonstrating that among its employees and within its communities than Rush.

Rush DE&I and racial justice and equity commitment statement

To make sure that we are remaining true and committed to this work of diversity, equity and inclusion along with racial justice and equity, members of the Rush Diversity Leadership Council, the Racial Justice Action Committee steering committee and the Rush BMO Institute for Health Equity devised a commitment statement, which will serve as our north star and guiding principles.

At Rush University System for Health, we are committed to establishing a climate that:

  • Honors and respects our differences
  • Delivers fair treatment and equitable access to care, opportunities and resources for patients, staff, students and​ faculty​
  • Actively engages and partners with Rush internal and external communities as leaders and decision-makers in the work
  • Advances racial justice and equity by dismantling barriers, righting injustices, being actively anti-racist and promoting equity in health care, in learning, in research and in our communities across the Rush system