Department plans to open officially on Oct. 16
(Oct. 11, 2019) Rush Oak Park Hospital recently held a grand opening ceremony of its new state-of-the-art emergency department. The hospital hosted tours for local officials and employees of the $30 million facility located on the corner of Madison Street and Maple Avenue in Oak Park. The facility is expected to officially open on Oct. 16.
Bruce Elegant, president and CEO of the hospital, welcomed guests that included State Senator Don Harmon and Illinois Representative Camille Lilly (78th district), both of whom were born and raised in Oak Park. Also, the Mayor of Oak Park Anan Abu-Taleb attended along with several village trustees and Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson (1st district).
Elegant addressed the significance a new emergency department provides for Oak Park and its surrounding communities.
“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.”
Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center, who did his fellowship at Rush Oak Park Hospital, talked about Rush’s overall commitment to quality health care and how the hospital’s new emergency department “represents a milestone along Rush’s path to deliver excellence to our patients right where they are and exactly where they need it.”
Changing With the Times
The hospital itself has significant meaning to Senator Harmon, who was born at Oak Park Hospital and is a lifelong resident of the village. “The hospital, like Oak Park, has been constantly reinventing itself to change with the times. The changing winds in health care nationally and at the state level require us to adjust and recalibrate. The [partnership] with Rush and Oak Park Hospital [beginning in 1997] was a dramatic change in the hospital and I believe made Rush Oak Park Hospital thee local hospital.” He went on to praise Rush’s commitment to growth and innovation.
Representative Lilly, also a product of Oak Park, thanked Rush for its devotion to caring for the residents for so many years — more than a century. She concluded her speech enthusiastic about touring the new facility. “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much else.”
Twenty-Two Private Rooms
The 55,000 square-foot facility —approximately 22,000 of which is devoted to the new emergency department with the remainder being utilized for program and building support—replaces a department originally built in 1969. The new facility is designed to serve the more than 40,000 patients per year the hospital expects to average. Features of the new space include 22 private rooms, including five fast-track triage rooms, two behavioral health rooms and a decontamination room. All rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art telemetry monitors.
Dr. Navtej Sandhu, medical director of the emergency department, said hospital personnel provided an extensive amount of input in the overall design of the new facility. “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.”
The new emergency department is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Environmentally friendly features include an expansive green roof and energy saving occupancy sensors. The roof contains approximately 11,000-square feet of succulents, a plant that requires limited maintenance. Approximately 92 percent of debris from construction was recycled, diverting those materials from landfills.
New Ultrasound and CT Suites
Along with the new emergency department, Rush Oak Park Hospital also underwent upgrades to certain corresponding services, including adding new ultrasound and CT (computerized tomography) scan suites. Both located on the ground floor and connected to the new emergency department by a few feet, the ultrasound suite consists of four ultrasound scan rooms and two handicap accessible bathrooms, while the CT suite houses a new top-of-the-line CT scanner with enhanced cardiac capabilities.
“The new space allowed us to add more advanced technology to better accommodate our patients," said Luanne Folkmar-Smith, director of Medical Imaging and Cardiology. “The suites are conveniently located near the emergency room, allowing for more efficient care from our staff."