(Sept. 21, 2017) Construction ceremoniously began on Rush Oak Park Hospital’s new, start-of-the-art Emergency Department last week as hospital leadership — along with board members, local officials and State Senator Don Harmon — took shovels to dirt to kick off the project on the corner of Madison Street and Maple Avenue in Oak Park.
Bruce Elegant, president and CEO of the hospital, welcomed some 40 guests and addressed the significance a new Emergency Department will provide in the community.
“With consistent patient volume increases in our Emergency Department over the years, the need for a larger and more modern facility has been a priority,” he said. “This new facility is designed around the needs of our patients and will enable us to provide better and more efficient health care to the communities we serve.”
The new 55,000 square-foot facility — approximately 22,000 of which will be will be devoted to the new Emergency Department with the remainder being utilized for program and building support — is projected to cost $30 million and expected to be completed in early 2019.
The current Emergency Department at Rush Oak Park Hospital was built in 1969 and designed to serve 15,000 patients per year. The hospital now sees more than 37,000 patients per year.
Harmon revealed that he was born at the hospital and has been a “frequent flyer” to the current Emergency Department with his children and parents.
“I know what a critical importance Rush Oak Park Hospital and a new emergency department have in the community and it’s great to see Rush taking the initiative to invest in the future of the health of this community,” he said. “It speaks volumes of the partnership it has with the community, a partnership that will continue for years to come.”
Navtej Sandhu, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department, talked about the extensive amount of input hospital personnel had in the overall design of the new facility.
“The Emergency Department does not operate in a bubble and in order to function at a high level, there needs to be support from departments across the hospital, including patient access, radiology, environmental services, security, and each of the inpatient units along with strong support from administration. Members from each of these departments along with ER nurses, techs and physicians began meeting a year and a half ago with the architects to help design this department based on the specific needs of the patients that make up the community we serve.”
He added that along with the general concept and overall layout of the facility, even the smallest details were discussed “to maximize comfort and safety for patients and provide efficiency for the staff.”
Construction of the new facility comes on the heels of Rush expanding its specialty care services out to Rush Oak Park Hospital’s campus, said Robert Spadoni, vice president of hospital operations.
“Beginning Oct. 2, a multispecialty Rush University Medical Group practice will be located on the fifth floor of the Rush Medical Office Building, located next to the main hospital.”
Mike Dandorph, president of Rush University Medical Center and the Rush system, closed the ceremony by thanking those that have supported the project from the beginning. He also emphasized how the hospital and the community are important to the overall Rush system strategy.
“The new facility and the advancements at Rush Oak Park Hospital are one of the examples of how Rush is working to extend our reach across the region seeking to improve the health of all the communities that we serve. It’s important for us to continue that integration.”
Rush has multiple projects in various stages of planning and development, with a major project coming online each year from now until 2020.