Rush Builds Partnership with City Colleges of Chicago Through College to Careers Program

Thursday, March 1, 2012

(CHICAGO) — Rush University Medical Center is providing resources, from equipment donations to clinical rotations and guest lecturers, to nearby Malcolm X College (MXC) in support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new College to Careers program, which has been established to ensure Chicago residents are prepared for jobs in high-growth industries.

Rush, which has been partnering with MXC since 2008, is helping to train people for jobs in the health sciences that are available now but remain unfilled due to a skills gap.

The new agreement allows MXC students to gain valuable experience at Rush through clinical rotations, career ladder programs and other initiatives that had already been in place.

“City Colleges are key to Chicago’s economic viability,” said Dr. Larry Goodman, CEO, Rush University Medical Center. “This initiative is crucial not only because it will help ensure a pipeline of qualified workers in the health and medical field, but because we must all contribute as corporate citizens to ensure that Chicago is a winner as more cities and countries vie for relevance in the world economy.”

MXC students will receive hands-on learning at the cadaver lab at Rush, and they have an opportunity to participate in clinical rotations at Rush in radiology, respiratory care, surgical technology, nursing and emergency medicine.

The top priority is curriculum design, and Rush staff members are working with MXC faculty to guarantee City Colleges’ allied health programs are aligned with industry needs. Two career ladder programs have been instituted by Rush for graduates of MXC to complete their bachelor’s degree: Graduates of MXC’s medical radiography program can enroll at Rush University for a bachelor’s degree program in imaging sciences, learning advanced imaging techniques (CT or MRI). Currently, four MXC students are enrolled in the program. Meanwhile, those who complete the respiratory care program at MXC are eligible to enroll at Rush University for a bachelor’s program in respiratory care.

“We are excited about the real-world experience our students will gain by learning from Rush staff and getting hands-on experience in Rush’s top-notch facilities, working with state-of-the-art technologies,” said City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman. “Their generous partnership will ensure our graduates are prepared for jobs in the high growth healthcare industry.”

Rush will continue to hold an annual job fair at MXC to hire community residents, and the Medical Center donates equipment that is used for the college’s health sciences programs. In addition, Rush faculty members serve on MXC’s advisory boards, and provide virtual and in-person guest lecturing at MXC. Monthly conference calls are held by MCX’s president, deans, program directors and Rush representatives from the College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Department of Emergency and Human Resources. Monthly telephone conferences are also held.

“Our relationship with Rush is strong because it starts at the very top,” said Jim Frankenbach, chief operating officer, City Colleges of Chicago. “Dr. Larry Goodman and his team are thoughtful partners each step of the way as we develop cutting-edge programs to prepare our students for fulfilling healthcare careers.”

Emanuel and Hayman recently announced a $479 million five-year capital plan to support the initiative. By 2020 Chicago will need approximately 75,000 more health care practitioners than currently exist and more than one-third of those positions will be for holders of associate degrees.

Founded in 1972, Rush University began its 40th year when classes started this September. In recent years, the University has grown considerably, and it now comprises Rush Medical College, the Rush University College of Nursing, the Graduate College of Rush University and the College of Health Sciences at Rush University.

Enrollment has increased 41 percent in seven years, with an all-time high of approximately 2,100 students currently attending the University. The 2012 edition of U.S.News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Graduate Schools” survey ranked seven programs in the Rush University College of Nursing and three programs in the College of Health Sciences among the top 20 in the country, including seven programs that improved their rankings or were newly ranked.

Rush is a not-for-profit academic medical center comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health.

Rush’s mission is to provide the best possible care for its patients. Educating tomorrow’s health care professional, researching new and more advanced treatment options, transforming its facilities and investing in new technologies—all are undertaken with the drive to improve patient care now, and for the future.