Rush Transformation Begins in Windy City

Aug. 9, 2007

(CHICAGO) - Rush University Medical Center hosted a ceremony July 11 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new orthopedic ambulatory care building, the first visible phase of construction in the medical center's 7-year comprehensive redevelopment of the Rush campus.

The new 222,000-square-foot orthopedic ambulatory care building will be located on the Rush campus immediately west of Ashland Avenue between Harrison and Flournoy streets. Outpatient offices and related facilities of the department of Orthopedics will occupy four floors of the five-story building.

"This new facility will consolidate patient services into one convenient location and provide space for growth to meet the increasing demand for orthopedic patient care services," said Dr. Gunnar Andersson, chairman of the department of Orthopedics at Rush. Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, the private practice medical group whose members are on the Rush faculty, will close its location at 800 S. Wells in the River City building complex to consolidate its downtown outpatient facilities on the Rush campus.

In addition to outpatient clinic space, the orthopedics ambulatory building will house physical and occupational therapy; a sophisticated imaging center (MRI, CT); the Gait Laboratory; orthotics and prosthetics services; offices for orthopedic surgeons and staff; and a conference and learning center. The first floor will also include some retail space.

Construction will also begin this summer on a new parking structure and a new power plant for the Rush campus. Related underground construction will give Rush a new loading dock and materials delivery system for the campus. Together, with the Orthopedic Ambulatory Building, this first phase of construction will cost $137 million and is expected to be completed in 2009.

In 2004, Rush revealed its plans for the most comprehensive construction and facilities renovation program in its history. Dubbed "The Rush Transformation," the program encompasses Rush's plans to invest in new technology, build new facilities and improve patient care processes, while at the same time reorienting the entire physical campus around patients and their families.

Construction of a major hospital addition, including a new center for advanced emergency response, is expected to begin in 2008 pending project approval by the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. The projected completion date is 2012. This facility will include a state-of-the art emergency services facility, the McCormick Tribune Center for Advanced Emergency Response, which will house special equipment and is designed to care for victims of major catastrophes. Renovations on the existing Atrium and Kellogg buildings will follow.

"This is a thrilling time for Rush. We are beginning to see the first visible signs of a transformation that will not only redesign and rebuild Rush's campus and landscape, but will also enable Rush to capitalize on advanced technology and more efficiently care for patients in the coming decades," said Dr. Larry Goodman, president and CEO of Rush.

Perkins +Will, architects for the Rush project, have extensive experience in the health care industry and with other large academic medical centers including Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which also have facilities replacement projects. 

In the design plans for Rush, special attention is being paid to environmental efficiency and responsiveness. Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

The entire Rush Transformation project will cost more than $800 million and will be financed through a variety of sources including philanthropy, income from operations, federal and local grants, debt financing and private funds for the ambulatory care building. The 7 year philanthropic campaign "It's How the Future of Medicine Should Be" has raised over $200 million of its $300 million goal in the first 3 years of the campaign.

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About the orthopedics program at Rush

Ranked sixth in the country by U.S.News & World Report, the orthopedics program at Rush is a leader in research and new therapies that benefit patients today. Rush has the largest joint replacement program in Illinois and has pioneered the development and use of minimally invasive joint replacement surgery. Orthopedic surgeons at Rush were involved with other advances in joint replacement surgery including the use of porous materials to encourage bone growth, the use of a more flexible knee implant, and gender specific implants. They were among the first to implant a "growing prosthesis" for children with bone cancer, which can be lengthened as the child grows and lessens the need for repeated surgeries. Novel research at Rush includes tracking the long-term performance of implants, biological treatment for intervertebral disc degeneration, and the use of a patient's own rejuvenated cells to replace diseased muscles and cartilage tissue.

About Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is a private practice group of more than 30 highly subspecialized physicians providing comprehensive orthopedic services. All the physicians are board-certified and fellowship-trained in their subspecialty, are active in research at Rush University Medical Center and have faculty appointments in the Rush Medical College. These physicians, along with internal medicine specialists from Rush, serve as the team physicians for the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox.

About Rush University Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center includes the 674-bed (staffed) hospital; the Johnson R. Bowman Health Center; and Rush University (Rush Medical College, College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College).

Contact: Kim Waterman, 312-942-7820, [email protected]

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