CEO Rush University Medical Center, President Rush University
Larry Goodman, MD, initiated the biggest project in Rush University Medical Center’s 175-year history shortly after becoming CEO in 2002. “We needed new facilities – a new hospital, a new outpatient facility and more parking,” explains Dr. Goodman on the massive modernization project.
Opened January 6, 2012, the new 14-story hospital has a unique clover leaf design, a concept developed by Rush nurses. “They provided input on how we could correct deficiencies and improve safety,” shares Dr. Goodman. “We also asked Marca Bristo, president/CEO, Access Living, to advise us on how to make Rush an effective and welcoming place for people with disabilities.” And in order to full understand the construction project, Dr. Goodman says it’s important to know the history of Rush.
“The oldest compound is the medical school, which dates back to 1837,” he notes. “Literally, the week the city of Chicago was incorporated, Rush Medical College opened. Later it burned down as part of the Chicago fire and Rush was relocated on the west side of Chicago in the 1880s. Many of our buildings today date to the 1880s and what was clear when we were looking at our overall facilities, all of our buildings, was if we were to practice medicine in this more modern era we needed new facilities.”
Rush also improved the way supplies are delivered to the hospital. “We used to have our supply trucks enter where the new hospital sits today, so we had to move that underground, underneath the new hospital,” explains Dr. Goodman. “Robots now deliver the supplies under Harrison Street, and they have designated elevators where they take supplies upstairs. It’s quite remarkable.”
In addition to overseeing construction of the new facilities, which are all Gold LEED certified, Dr. Goodman is also involved with the partnership between Rush University and City Colleges of Chicago. “The idea of the Colleges to Career program is to modify curriculum and do an even better job of training today’s students to be tomorrow’s employees. To that end, Malcolm X College has been designated a health science college, where our college of nursing and college of health science deans/teachers work with their faculty to prepare students for a career in health care; it’s a great partnership.”
When reflecting more on “tomorrow’s employees,” Dr. Goodman believes while role of women in health care will continue to increase, there’s room for improvement. “Women in medicine have increased numbers in medical schools, residencies and fellowships. But where I see a need for women is at the most senior positions – chairman, dean – across the country. The ratio of men to women is variable but probably not where it needs to be.”