For more than a century, Rush Oak Park Hospital has been a staple in the community it serves, providing exceptional and compassionate health care. One recent example of our commitment is that we again received an “A” grade for patient safety, the highest possible, from the Leapfrog Group, a nationally recognized nonprofit watchdog organization. This marked our seventh consecutive “A” and ninth overall, adding to our list of recognitions for quality care.

We also take great pride in being a strong community partner and will continue to be one as we evolve and expand along with the health care industry. It’s vital to the communities we serve that the hospital remains attentive and responsive to new technologies, scientific advances and consumer demands.

A significant increase in outpatient care and the demand for emergency care has prompted us to expand our service lines and recently open a new, state-of-the-art emergency department. Last year alone we had more than 8,000 additional visits to our campus than the year prior. Examples of such visits included doctor’s appointments, radiation therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and imaging tests like mammograms, CT scans and MRIs, among others. The substantial increase in visits over the years has caused an overflow of vehicles to our campus and resulted in a spillover of parking in the neighborhood.

To address the frustration our neighbors have experienced with the overflow of parking, we formalized a plan to take those vehicles off the streets and put them on our campus where they belong. Our intent was good, but going before the Oak Park Plan Commission last week with a proposal to build an additional parking garage on hospital-owned property without first receiving input from the neighbors was, in retrospect, premature on our part. Which is why we immediately asked for a continuation of the proposal to a later date.

In the coming weeks, we plan on meeting with representatives of the neighborhood. We will continue to work with the Oak Park village engineer and our own traffic consultants to determine the best approach for the hospital and the community. 

The mission of Rush is to provide the best health care for the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research, and community partnerships. We believe in that mission and will strive to continue to see it to fruition.

Bruce Elegant is president and CEO of Rush Oak Park Hospital.

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