New Rush Hospital on track for January opening
December 2, 2011
A new state-of-the-science patient room at Rush University Medical Center.

Rush University Medical Center’s new 14-floor building at Ashland Avenue and the Eisenhower Expressway has reached the “substantial completion” phase and is on track to open in January. Workers are installing more than 10,000 pieces ofmedical equipment in the structure’s 806,000 square feet.

“All of the nurses, physicians, and other employees who will work in the new building will soon participate in training to become thoroughly familiar and comfortable with their new space, equipment, and systems,” said Peter Butler, president and chief operating officer of Rush University Medical Center. “The new hospital building is the cornerstone of our plans to reorient all of our facilities and care around the patient and their families in order to reduce costs and improve outcomes.”

Rush also has introduced an interactive website for the new building at

The $654 million project, called “the tower,” will hold 304 individual adult and critical care beds in the top five floors. Three floors at the building’s basewill feature diagnostic testing, treatment, and recovery a short distance from each other to make services more convenient for patients and families and encourage specialists to collaborate. The building provides 40 procedure rooms with enlarged operating rooms to accommodate new technology.

The ground floor will house the McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response to assist during large-scale public health emergencies. The center includes an emergency department with 56 treatment bays. Before ground breaking in September 2008, hundreds of Rush employees gave the design team insights on critical features for ensuring patient safety and comfort, quality, and efficient space for staff. Rush’s architects, Perkins + Will, developed the hospital’s butterfly design to accommodate those priorities.

The tower is the major component of the hospital’s ten-year, $1 billion Rush Transformation effort, which blends newconstruction, selected renovations, and technology investments including an electronic health information system. It represents the largest capital project in Rush’s 174-year history.

The tower will connect to Rush’s main hospital building, also called “the atrium,” at 1650 W. Harrison St. After the tower opens, workers will renovate the atrium. When the transformation program ends, Rush will have 732 beds across its renovated and new facilities.

Chicago’s first full-service “green” hospital, the tower is designed to conserve energy and water, reduce waste, and use sustainable building materials. Rush is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification for it. A new parking structure and an orthopedic building completed in 2009 also offer many sustainable features.

“From the outset of our planning, we have worked to develop new models of care and to adapt to changes in the health care environment that will better enable Rush to address critical issues regarding access to care, containing and reducing costs, achieving better outcomes, and ensuring that the patient is at the center of the health care continuum,” said Butler.

Rush is funding its transformation effort with operating revenue, debt financing, philanthropy, and City, State and Federal grants. The project,managed by Power/ Jacobs Joint Venture, has remained on time and on budget, despite the challenging economic environment.

Rush is a not-for-profit academic medical center comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital, and Rush Health. For more information, call (312) 942-5949.