ROPH Honored for Excellence in Philanthropy

Hospital’s community outreach, support goes beyond quality care

Feb. 9, 2017 (Oak Park, Ill.) Rush Oak Park Hospital was recently honored with the 2016 Outstanding Philanthropic Business Award for its community outreach and support from the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. 

The Community Foundation, a central resource for local philanthropic work, presented the award to Rush Oak Park Hospital President and CEO Bruce Elegant at the Community Foundation Honors banquet held at the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park on February 7. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Community Foundation for Rush Oak Park Hospital’s community services,” said Elegant. “Providing support in the community through programs and outreach is a reflection of the quality of care our staff provides at the hospital. And we look forward to continuing our community services and building upon them in the future.” 

Rush Oak Park Hospital was nominated for the award by Donna Carroll, president of Dominican University and a member of the hospital’s board of directors. In her nomination letter, Carroll cited the hospital’s numerous community outreach programs, including the Community Integrated Transition Education Program it helps support in conjunction with Oak Park-River Forest High School. The program aids students with developmental disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder transition into adulthood by providing job training and placement. 

Carroll also touched on Rush Oak Park Hospital’s involvement in helping develop the Food Surplus Project, a collaborative effort by hospital staff and community organizers to redistribute food from the hospital’s cafeteria to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. The project, which began in 2015, is now also being implemented at Rush University Medical Center. 

“It is a challenge to be a large not-for-profit institution in a highly engaged, service oriented community, because everybody turns to you for support, despite your status,” Carroll wrote in her nomination letter. “Rush Oak Park Hospital has managed the demand with great integrity, positioning itself as a generous, but strategic philanthropic partner, sponsoring lots of organizations, but focusing its support on advancing the health of our communities.” 

While accepting the award on behalf of the hospital, Elegant also referenced the cornerstone of Rush Oak Park Hospital’s community outreach: its wellness program, Healthy Motivations. The program offers free educational seminars on important health topics such as heart disease, cancer and orthopedic problems. In addition, Healthy Motivations offers fitness classes, health screenings, nutrition seminars and access to support groups. 

The Outstanding Philanthropic Business Award came with a $1,000 grant to go to a local organization of the award recipient’s choosing. Elegant designated that the money be donated to the Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society, a local not-for-profit organization committed to assuring the health and well-being of children.