Rush Oak Park remains committed to community

Opinion

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Bruce Elegant

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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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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: November 20th, 2019 6:12 PM

Christine Vernon, I have gone to Rush Oak Park Hospital for specialists, and then they moved the specialist out West and no longer had the specialist available in Oak Park. As for any surgery, that is still done at the main Rush Hospital. Maybe Rush Oak Park is either focusing on being an emergency room hospital which will transfer patients, or they will finally become a full service hospital. I hope for a full service hospital and getting in some staff changes with some of the doctor's although most of the doctor's have been competent

Christine Vernon  

Posted: November 20th, 2019 5:55 PM

Oak Park Hospital is continuing the great job done for decades at that location, now that it has partnered with Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital to become Rush/Oak Park . It is really heartening to see the growth of resources there now and now we will not necessarily have to drive to the Downtown location to see specialists we can see in Oak Park. The presence of the Rush administration is particularly reassuring since the arrival of Pipeline ownership of West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park. Pipeline has started off in the area on the wrong foot with the controversial closing of Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park after promising to keep the community hospital open for residents there. No community can afford that kind of betrayal. The management of hospital networks is complex these days but closing needed hospitals and depriving people of needed medical care, causes the quality of life in a community to take a nosedive. As a society, we have to do better. Lastly, I hope that Rush is able to make peace with neighbors over the new proposed parking. Years ago, ugly wars went on with neighbors of West Suburban Hospital. That doesn't have to happen.

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