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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diverse group of physicians in white coats standing outside with the Rush Tower building behind them


Excellence is for everyone. 

Here at the Rush University System for Health, excellence is for everyone. The mission of Rush is to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is at the center of everything we do and everyone we serve. Comprised of Rush University Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush University, the Rush system is committed to achieving a workforce and student body that is reflective of the communities, patients and regions we serve. Our culture of excellence fosters an environment of equality and respect for those who work, study and heal at Rush.

Excellence at Rush is...

Leading by example. The Rush Diversity Leadership Council is responsible for developing and implementing Rush’s diversity strategic plan. This diverse group of leaders from across the Rush system is dedicated to ensuring that diversity is a key driver through measurable initiatives that focus on four pillars: culture of accountability, inclusion and respect; demographics; health equity; and external and community partnerships. An inclusive community of faculty, staff, residents and students are here to support you through your training and education journey at Rush. The resident-run Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee provides mentoring, networking, advising and professional development opportunities for residents, fellows and medical students.

Improving health outcomes on Chicago’s West Side. Chicago’s West Side has been Rush’s home since 1873. We share our community with a diverse population, culturally rich neighborhoods and other institutions, including the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, that serve residents all over the city and the region. For years, the West Side has been overlooked and under-resourced. People who live in the neighborhoods at the center of Rush’s service area are working through the effects of decades of structural racism and economic deprivation, including higher levels of poverty and unemployment; crowded housing; and lower rates of education and health insurance. These inequities have caused these residents to have higher rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and serious health inequities. As a result, there is a 16-year life expectancy gap between a resident of downtown Chicago and a resident of the West Side. To combat these health issues, Rush formed West Side United with five other health systems in the Illinois Medial District and area community organizations to address and reduce the life expectancy gap between downtown and the West Side by 50 percent by 2030.

In addition, Rush implemented an Anchor Mission Strategy to use its economic power to improve the health of the communities we serve by hiring locally and developing talent; using local labor for capital projects; buying and sourcing from the community; investing and creating financial stability for employees; and volunteering and supporting community-building. Residents and fellows in the Department of Internal Medicine can incorporate this work into their training through a health equity track. The track explores health equity issues locally and globally, focusing on the idea that “global is local.” The knowledge, skills and experiences you gain in the track will empower you to advocate for health care equity throughout your career. Through the track, you will also have the opportunity to mentor Rush Medical College students and develop relationships with faculty across the Rush system.

Giving back to the community. Community service is at the heart of everything we do at Rush. Through the Rush Community Service Initiatives Program (RCSIP), students, faculty, residents and fellows use their unique skills and talents to make a difference in the community and beyond. RCSIP initiatives are designed to provide health care to individuals in underserved communities, educate the community about healthy living and disease prevention and management, and train and educate young people about the wide range of careers in the health sciences. Fostering a learning environment of inclusion and support. You can also create connections through affinity groups such as the Student National Medical Association, Latino Medical Association, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, Interprofessional Minority Student Association, RushPRIDE and many more. Networking events, such as the annual Diversity & Inclusion Boat Cruise on Lake Michigan and quarterly social events, are hosted by the diversity and inclusion team in the Office of Integrated Medical Education, and provide the opportunity for informal networking and fellowship in a relaxed environment away from the Rush campus.

To learn more about our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,
 please contact Lisa Johnson, diversity and inclusion project manager, at

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