By Dan Haley
Rush University Medical Center on Friday completed its full acquisition of Rush Oak Park Hospital, with the closing of an agreement that ends the century-plus sponsorship of the hospital by the Wheaton Franciscan religious order.
Rush has operated the Catholic hospital on a day-to-day basis for some 15 years while the Wheaton Franciscan sisters role has diminished. With the Rush acquisition, the institution will no longer be a Catholic hospital though in a press release Friday, Rush University Medical Center went out of its way to acknowledge its Catholic heritage and to emphasize "its present regard for the religions and faith traditions of all patients." The release also noted that the final agreement had been approved by both the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Planning and Review Board but also by the Vatican.
Negotiations to shift ownership fully to Rush University were first reported last spring. A closing had been expected by July but negotiations lingered.
For more details on this pact and its ramifications turn to next week's Wednesday Journal.