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ROPH Files Plans for New Emergency Department

Oct. 20, 2016 - (Oak Park, Illinois) Due to an increased demand for emergency medical services in the community and a vital need to upgrade those services, Rush Oak Park Hospital has taken the next step to replace its Emergency Department within a new building to be located on its existing hospital campus. 

This week the hospital filed a certificate of need with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for a modernization project to replace its existing 50-year-old Emergency Department with one that is designed to meet contemporary emergency care standards and growing patient volume. The project is estimated to cost approximately $30 million.

The plan is to construct a one-and-a-half story building to house an Emergency Department just north of the hospital’s main building off Maple Avenue and Madison Street. The new, approximately 55,000-square-foot facility will devote about 20,000 square feet for the new Emergency Department, with the remainder being utilized for program and building support. It will take the place of the Rush Oak Park Hospital Medical Arts Building, a five-story structure that has been vacant for two years and was built primarily as a nursing school dormitory.

“Our current emergency facility was built in 1969 and designed to serve 15,000 patients per year,” said Bruce Elegant, president and CEO of the hospital. “Since that time, the emergency facility has been remodeled and expanded several times, but we’ve come to the point where we have converted every available square foot in its current location. We’re now seeing more than 37,000 patients per year and that number is projected to increase.”

Elegant added that once completed, the new facility will not only provide high-quality medical care but enhanced privacy and shorter wait-times. “It’s about continuing to provide the emergency services our community expects and deserves.” 

The planned department will have 21 individual treatment bays and include two isolation rooms, two behavioral health rooms and one room for evaluation and treatment of sexual abuse patients.

“Rush Oak Park Hospital has a deep commitment to the community going back 100 years, and we intend to adapt to continue to meet the health care needs of residents in the future,” said Elegant. “Currently, we are striving to accommodate the growth in the community’s demand for outpatient and emergency department services.”

Emergency services physicians, nurses and staff members have already been involved with helping the initial design of the new facility, according to Robert Spadoni, Rush Oak Park Hospital’s vice president of operations.

“It’s been a team effort from the initial planning,” he said. “From day one, the priority has always been to design a facility to make best use of the high-quality emergency services this hospital provides for the community. We’ve conducted multiple working efficiency modules and we are confident the final design will be more than accommodating to staff and patients.” 

Hospital officials have been involved in ongoing discussions with the Village of Oak Park in the planning of the new, state-of-the-art emergency facility. In the coming months, the hospital will hold meetings with representatives of the neighborhood on the progress of the project as well as address any issues that may arise during construction.    

Spadoni noted that if all goes as planned, demolition of the Medical Arts Building could take place this spring 2017. “Construction of the new facility could then begin in late spring and completion would likely be late 2018 or early 2019.”

The current Emergency Department, located near the corner of Madison Street and Wisconsin Avenue, will continue in full operation until the new construction is completed.