I read with great interest the notable achievements listed in Wednesday Journal’s end-of-the-year article, “New boards, buildings and Wright defined 2019” [News, Jan. 1]. I’d like to take this opportunity to add a few more items to your exceptional list of points of pride for all of Oak Park, beginning with the grand opening of Rush Oak Hospital’s state-of-the-art emergency department.   

As chairman of the Board of Directors at Rush Oak Park Hospital and a longtime Oak Park resident, I, of course, find great value in the expansion of emergency care in our area. This $30 million facility has already proven a tremendous asset to the community. 

Since its opening, the emergency department’s volume is up 20 percent. The average number of ER visits has grown from 125 per day to 140 per day with a new record being set of 182 patients in one day. In December, 81 percent of all ambulance runs from Oak Park ended at the hospital’s emergency department. 

As Rush University System of Health’s largest investment in the hospital, the new emergency department will continue to make a significant impact in the health and well-being of residents in Oak Park and the surrounding communities for decades to come.  

Although there were many more accomplishments, another notable achievement in 2019 I’d like to share is that we are among an elite group of hospitals in the United States, having received a Top Teaching Hospital Award from the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization focused on health care safety and quality. Only 55 hospitals in the United States received this honor. 

The Top Teaching Hospital Award and the many others like it are a direct result of the exceptional patient care being delivered to residents of Oak Park and the surrounding communities on a daily basis at Rush Oak Park Hospital.

Wishing everyone good health in 2020 and beyond.

Gary McCullough, a longtime Oak Park resident, is chairman of the Board of Directors of Rush Oak Park Hospital.

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