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Community Service

Rush community serviceAt Rush, our mission to provide excellent health care extends not only to those who enter our doors. It also includes the members of our community.

Rush serves the greater Chicago area by providing care to people unable to pay, educating future health care providers and supporting research. Our community outreach efforts address a variety of needs.

Serving patients unable to pay

In fiscal year 2014 Rush provided nearly $172 million in unreimbursed care for our patients. Unreimbursed care includes the following:

  • Charity care: Provided at reduced or no cost to patients who supply information identifying their qualification for financial assistance under one of Rush’s policies.
  • Unrecoverable patient debt: Payments expected but not made by patients for health services that Rush provided.
  • Partially reimbursed care: Care not fully reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid for patients covered by these programs.

Rush ranks among the top 10 hospitals in Illinois in both the number of Medicaid (public aid) patients treated and the total number of days these patients spent in the hospital.

Educating tomorrow’s health care providers

In fiscal year 2014, Rush provided more than $44 million in funding to help cover the costs of training the next generation of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals — many of whom practice in Illinois after graduation.

Supporting research

Rush provided more than $15 million this past fiscal year to support research activities aimed at improving care for a wide range of patient populations. Projects supported by Rush include the following:

  • A study of Mexican Americans with diabetes, conducted by researchers at Rush, found that participants who were visited in their homes by community health workers and followed a specific teaching cirriculum showed a significant improvement in managing their diabetes compared to a control group that received bi-weekly diabetes education from a bilingual newsletter that was mailed to their homes. 
  • A study by researchers from the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center reviews research that suggests the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease among older African Americans may be two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic white population and that they differ from the non-Hispanic white population in risk factors and disease manifestation.

Community outreach

Physicians, nurses, support staff and students at Rush collaborate with local clinics and programs to help local low-income and homeless people. Rush volunteers help in many ways:

  • By providing primary health and prenatal care, such as examinations and immunizations
  • By collecting medical supplies and equipment for clinics in need
  • By conducting health education seminars
  • By serving as mentors, advocates and friends to chronically ill pediatric patients
  • By tutoring children and teenagers, encouraging their interest in math and science

More information on Rush’s community service