Skip to Content

Connecting the Fox Valley to Academic Medicine

Rush University

Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) and Rush-Copley Medical Center have completed the process of reorganizing operations under a common corporate parent led by a board of trustees that will oversee the fully integrated Rush academic health system (Rush).

Rush will focus on bringing academic medicine to Chicago’s western suburbs and beyond, providing patients and communities with convenient access to Rush University Medical Center’s and Rush-Copley’s nationally ranked clinical programs and research studies. A streamlined governance structure at the system level will help Rush focus on its goal of providing a single level of quality and commitment to the communities it serves. Initial plans for the reorganization were announced in June 2016.

It’s an exciting time for Rush and our patients as we thoughtfully build our future with partners like Rush University Medical Center and Rush-Copley, especially those that share our values and vision for improving coordinated patient care, complex disease management and innovative care delivery models. This approach is really unique in the marketplace. While others are consolidating services within systems, we are investing in new services and adding them to our community.

Rush UniversityDr. Larry Goodman has been named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rush system and will maintain his position as Rush University Medical Center CEO. In addition, the new 13-member Rush system board of trustees is responsible for overseeing the vision and strategy for Rush, which includes Rush University Medical Center, Rush-Copley, Rush Oak Park Hospital and their respective subsidiaries. The Rush system board is led by Rush University Medical Center Chairman, William Goodyear. Michael Dandorph, President of Rush University Medical Center, will also serve as President of the Rush system, overseeing the system’s strategy and operations. I will continue as President and CEO of Rush-Copley and also serve as Executive Vice President of the Rush system as well as continuing as Vice Chairman for Rush Health. Rush University Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush-Copley will each maintain their respective leadership, hospital board and organizational structure as the reorganization is put into operation. Representing Rush-Copley on the Rush system board of trustees are Mark Metzger, Bruce Dienst and Cati Cederoth.

This further integration of Rush University Medical Center and Rush-Copley builds on a 30-year relationship and existing clinical partnerships in stroke care, cancer and cardiovascular surgery. Under the leadership of the system board, Rush University Medical Center and Rush-Copley will more fully integrate Rush’s clinical programs, research, education and community priorities. Specific new initiatives include the following:

  • At Rush-Copley:
    -Neurosciences clinical program development
    -Neonatal and specialty pediatric program enhancement
    -Expanded access to surgical sub-specialties
    -Advanced women’s health specialization and programming
    -Pursuit of Magnet nursing designation, the highest recognition given for nursing excellence
    -Consolidating the Epic electronic medical records system
  • At Rush University Medical Center and Rush-Copley:
    -Emergency medicine residency program
    -Acceleration of technology adoption and care coordination in ways that improve the health of all communities served by the Rush system

This partnership is about ensuring our patients have access to the best care we can provide. It’s a meaningful investment in our communities and a commitment to the Rush vision of building the leading academic health system in the region and transforming health care. We’re proud to be an integral part of that.

Rush is proud to have more than 12,000 employees, 1,800 employed and private physicians and 2,500 students in Rush University.

One of our key goals is to meaningfully expand access to our preeminent programs throughout the Rush system, setting a new standard for quality and value across the region. We will accomplish this by investing in our talented teams of committed professionals through programs offered by Rush University, the region’s only dedicated health sciences university, and develop the skills to thrive in a future health care environment focused on improving health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Clinical Collaborations

Rush-Copley is proud to be a strategic collaborator with Rush University Medical Center in several clinical areas including cancer and stroke care.

Comprehensive Cancer Care

The Rush University Cancer Center comprises all of the cancer-related clinical, research and educational efforts at Rush, crossing 20 departments, divisions and sections; inpatient and outpatient areas; professional clinical activities; and the colleges of Rush University.

The collaboration between Rush-Copley Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center includes cancer patient conferences that are designed to improve care by allowing physicians from both organizations to consult one another on cases via real-time, state-of-the-art teleconferencing that includes patient pathology and imaging.

Physicians from both hospitals will have the opportunity to present cases each week in up to as many as 11 different cancer subspecialties. The patient’s pathology specimens and imaging are viewed simultaneously by all attending the conference and details about the patient’s medical history, current condition, and prognosis along with treatment options are fully discussed.

The conferences currently cover:

  • Digestive
  • Lung
  • Hematologic/blood disorders including leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and lymphoma.
  • Other cancer subspecialties that are planned to be phased in to the conferences include breast, brain tumor, gynecologic, head and neck cancers.

Both Rush-Copley and Rush University Medical Center have enjoyed a long-standing commitment to quality patient care over the years. While there have been many clinical program relationships between the organizations, this collaborative effort for patient conferences in cancer subspecialties formalizes the approach and allows for physicians from both hospitals to regularly review specific cases for best practices in order to  provide patients with optimal treatment plans. Rush-Copley is pleased to be able to offer patients this direct connection to one of the country’s top academic medical centers.

The goal for the conferences is to bring together the best possible thinking and resources to bear on the care and treatment of patients with cancer from the greater Fox Valley area. This teleconferencing technology instantly brings together physicians who are 35 miles apart to share information and care strategies for their cancer patients.

In addition, this partnership enhances access for patients eligible for clinical trials or other research programs as well as facilitates access to university-level care.

Advanced Care for Stroke Patients

Acute stroke patients who arrive at Rush-Copley’s Emergency Room can now be seen immediately by a Rush University Medical Center stroke neurologist without the specialist actually being there.  Rush-Copley has teamed up with the highly specialized stroke treatment team at Rush to make a neurologist remotely available 24/7 using a new technology called a telemedicine robot. The Rush stroke neurologist can log into a computer from anywhere and not only speak, but also see the patient and the patient’s medical information in real-time to provide an evaluation and help direct treatment recommendations.
The system is comprised of a remote robot placed in the emergency department and a control station using a laptop computer that has secure Internet connection.  Through the computer, the neurologist at Rush can control the camera to pan and zoom to view and speak with the patient, family members, and medical staff. The patient at Rush-Copley can see the physician on the robot’s screen, which allows for a personal exchange and two-way communication.

This new technology helps address the major challenges confronting stroke care: the short time window available for treatment and the limited availability of stroke neurologists who are required to swiftly and accurately diagnose stroke.

A physical exam to determine if a patient should get life saving clot busting drugs depends mostly on observation by a specially-trained stroke neurologist who monitors speech, level of consciousness, and the patient’s ability to move.
Patients have only an eight hour window of time for potential interventional procedures and a much shorter four and half hour window from onset of symptoms to receive the clot busting drug, tPA.  A stroke trained neurologist is needed to make these treatment decisions.  Treatments to open up blocked blood vessels in stroke have been shown to improve outcomes and limit disability. However, too few patients receive these approved therapies due to delays in arrival or treatment in the hospital.

The robotic technology is like combining Skype with a stethoscope. The robot is wheeled into the patient’s room in the ER, places it bedside, and the neurologist at Rush located at the other end of the electronic feed is able to control it the rest of the way.

The robot allows consulting doctors to pan in close enough to view a patient’s pupils and other vital signs, tilt up and down, spin around 360 degrees, read CT scans, and talk to the patient and emergency room staff.  The physician has access to the patient’s medical information through an electronic medical record.  Since the system uses a laptop computer, the stroke neurologist can log on from just about anywhere and provide a crucial time-sensitive evaluations and recommendations.