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Integrating the Highest-Quality Care

With its full integration as an academic health system and plans under way for a major new outpatient facility at the Medical Center, Rush is focused on providing a single level of quality and commitment to the communities it serves.

Larry Goodman, MD, CEO of Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System shares his views on the system expansion and how philanthropy can facilitate the efforts in the following Q&A.

How does the expansion of the Rush system strengthen Rush’s mission to improve care?
The system expansion will bring the Rush brand of medicine closer to the people we serve. While some services can only be found at an academic medical center campus like Rush University Medical Center, increasingly, more complex medical care can be done in an outpatient setting, especially at quality institutions like our system hospitals. The expansion enables our member hospitals to build on efficiencies and bring together resources, both to save money and improve quality. Above all, we want to help patients avoid an inpatient stay or emergency room visit and improve people’s health.
With the system expansion, Rush has more than 30 locations across the greater Chicago area, with additional locations in Oak Brook and South Loop soon to come. How will changes on the Medical Center campus further reflect Rush’s commitment to high-quality outpatient services?
Unfortunately, most outpatient facilities today suffer from the fact that services are not appropriately co-located. The result, throughout the field of health care, is that coordinating appointments with multiple specialists and diagnostics can be inefficient and inconvenient for patients. With a comprehensive new outpatient facility, which will be built Harrison Street just east of Ashland Avenue, we plan to change that. The center will transform outpatient care just as the Medical Center’s Tower, which opened in 2012, transformed inpatient care. In planning this facility, we’re bringing together not only builders and architects but our care providers and other users to help solve problems that have never been solved before in health care. This building will offer a completely different, highly coordinated experience for care providers and patients.
How do our donors facilitate Rush’s continued efforts to transform health care?
Our donors are able to leave their own mark on health care. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to our donors to make sure that the way we’re benefiting from their support is consistent with their wishes. And what I found is that — whether it’s their own way of improving health care, changing the way we take care of cancer patients, or helping us recruit top faculty and leadership — the biggest advances we make usually begin with a passion of a donor who feels connected to Rush, to the care we provide or to our mission. Philanthropy is incredibly important to every part of Rush. Without philanthropy, none of what we do would be possible.