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Rush Breaks Ground on $450 Million, State-of-the-Art Cancer and Neurosciences Center

Rush Breaks Ground on $450 Million, State-of-the-Art Cancer and Neurosciences Center

CHICAGO – Patients, doctors, nurses, staff and trustees were joined by government officials and community leaders at Rush University Medical Center on Wednesday to celebrate two landmark events at Rush: the groundbreaking of a new, 10-story, 480,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art outpatient care center and the announcement of the largest philanthropic gift in Rush’s history.

At the groundbreaking, Rush leaders announced the naming of the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Building in recognition of the Chicago couple, whose significant gift supports the outpatient center’s construction. 

The Rubschlager Building at Rush, to be completed in 2022, will be a center for cancer and neuroscience care. The $450 million building will be on the northeast corner of Ashland Avenue and Harrison Street on Chicago’s near West Side. An enclosed, fourth-floor walkway will connect it to Rush's Tower hospital building across Ashland Avenue.

“In planning the Rubschlager Building, our goal is to make the patient experience as positive and as seamless as possible,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center. “From the moment patients enter the front doors, we want them to experience personalized attention that makes their transitions through the building comfortable and smooth.”

The building will house outpatient clinical services for cancer and neurosciences, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, infusion therapy and integrative medicine. Patients will have access to new treatment options at the center through expanded clinical trials. 

The Rubschlager Building at Rush also will offer the following:

  • The latest technology, equipment for diagnostic imaging
  • On-site radiation oncology with an MRI linear accelerator
  • On-site lab draw and processing
  • A retail and specialty pharmacy
  • Retail spaces and food options
  • 90 individual cancer infusion rooms
  • 82 cancer exam/treatment rooms
  • Acupuncture and massage rooms
  • Woman’s Board Cancer Center boutique
  • Infusion and investigational drug pharmacies
  • 18 neurosurgery exam rooms
  • 71 neurology exam and treatment rooms with specialty series of EMG, deep brain stimulation, and gait lab
  • 18 neurology infusion rooms
  • Respite and lactation rooms
  • Outdoor space for patients, visitors and staff

In addition, the construction project will include an adjacent, six-story, 900-space parking facility for patients.

The building will be an important site for training and education, as well as for research. It will have shared research sample storage and processing areas. Its technology-equipped space for conferences, tumor board meetings and educational needs will foster interaction among faculty, students and staff.

Honoring the Rubschlagers' commitment to bettering the health of the community

Joan and Paul Rubschlager, Chicago philanthropists and former owners of Rubschlager Baking Corporation, are longtime supporters and grateful patients of Rush, where Joan Rubschlager serves on the Board of Trustees. Their gift is the lead gift to the cancer and neuroscience care facility.

Joan and Paul Rubschlager ran Rubschlager Baking Corp. a family business that first opened in 1913, together from 1977 until it was sold in 2014. The company was located on Chicago’s West Side from 1971 until it closed, and during those years, the Rubschlagers developed a close relationship with Rush as patients, volunteers and donors.

“Over the past 45 years, the Rubschlagers have been loyal and generous partners, having quietly supported clinical research and other programs at Rush,” said Diane M. McKeever, senior vice president of philanthropy and chief development officer at Rush. “We are elated that this new building will bear their names and recognize their philanthropy to Rush and other important charities in our city.”

Prior to their gift to the Rubschlager Building, the couple’s support of Rush included gifts supporting bone and joint research, cancer research and mental health care for veterans.

“We believe that giving to health care and medical research is the best way to ensure a better life for everyone, and we’re proud to support health care excellence at Rush,” Rubschlagers said.

“For more than four decades, we’ve felt like part of the Rush family, as patients, as donors and friends, and through Joan’s association as a trustee. We know the positive outcomes we’ve experienced during that time are due to the generous investments other philanthropists have made in advancing care. Today we’re thrilled to continue that tradition, investing in Rush’s exciting new outpatient care building and the health of the patients Rush will serve there.”

Planning with, by and for Rush’s patients

“In order to make the new building a world-class center for cancer and neurosciences, Rush is working closely with the patients and families who will use the center and also gathering input from staff who will work in the building,” said Patricia Nedved, associate vice president, ambulatory transformation at Rush.

Rush’s cancer patient advisory council was asked to weigh in on the design elements, the use of technology within the building, clinical care spaces such as the infusion center and more. For instance, patients said they wanted individual rooms in the infusion center for privacy and space during their treatments. 

The transformation team at Rush visited several other facilities to plan the building of the Rubschlager Building. 

“Our goal during these visits is to look at best practices to validate that we are in alignment and to learn from other centers,” explains Anthony Perry, vice president of ambulatory transformation at Rush. “We are looking at how services are designed, the ease of check-in and check-out, flow of patients and employees throughout the building, how the infusion services are built, and the ease of travel through the building for patients and visitors.”

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