Outreach Programs

With these programs, Rush reaches out to those in need both within the Medical Center and beyond.


Buddies is a program that takes place in Rush’s Children’s Hospital and Emergency Room (ER) in which Rush students do fun activities with ill children, such as playing games or reading a book. The aims of this program include providing companionship to and alleviating stress of ill children, and providing parents of hospitalized children a chance for a break away from the bedside.  The Rush’s Children Hospital Buddies program occurs every Monday through Thursday from 12-1 pm. The ER Buddies program runs three hours a week at various times.  Other Buddies events include an annual Halloween party with volunteers dressing up in costumes to go trick-or-treating with patients and an MLK day event where Rush students organize cultural activities for children in the Rush Day School and patients from the Children’s Hospital.

  • Services: Providing social activities for children in Rush facilities
  • Populations served: Children, adolescents and teens
  • Community partners: Rush Children’s Hospital


Rush REMEDY is a medical supply recovery and recycling program that works with Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach to collect unused medical supplies and equipment from the Rush health system and ship them to under-equipped hospitals and clinics worldwide. Collected supplies are also given to students traveling internationally to underserved areas on clinical trips or during clinical rotations. Supplies that are recovered and redistributed include such things as surgical packs, surgical gloves, gauze, bandages, sutures, catheters, and refurbished hospital equipment.

  • Services: Collection and redistribution of unused medical supplies
  • Populations served: Global, underserved adults and children
  • Community partners: Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach

Rush Harmony

RU Harmony is a group of students with strong musicianship and people skills that play music for patients.  The goal is to utilize the strong capacity of music to improve patients’ mental, physical and emotional well-being.  Participants in this group will perform solo or in small groups for 30-40 minutes during an assigned lunch period at a designated area.  Students are responsible for their own instrument and repertoire which must be approved by the steering committee.  In addition to providing a wonderful service to patients and staff, students of RU Harmony get exposure to patients in wards such as Pediatrics, Neurology, Oncology and Geriatric Psychiatry.


videoPEACH is a service program developed by students to create amazing YouTube videos with kids on the floors of Rush to help brighten their stay and feel more empowered, creative and happy!  You can view dome of their most recent videos at videopeach.org.

Tobacco Cessation Initiative

Students deliver behavioral intervention to hospitalized patients at Rush.

Correctional Health Initiative

The Correctional Health Initiative is an interprofessional organization focused on jail and prison health. Our volunteers provide a series of weekly health education sessions to men and women incarcerated at Cook County Jail, one of the largest single-site jails in the US. In addition to providing health education, we aim to foster awareness and understanding of the criminal justice system and advocate for the health and human rights issues related to incarceration.

The Road Home Program

The Road Home Program: The National Center of Excellence for Veterans and Their Families helps veterans and their families by providing timely and confidential support, counseling, and veteran health services to help the veteran and their family understand, heal from, and cope with the invisible wounds of war. Volunteers with this program participate in the intensive outpatient program (IOP) weekend outings to popular Chicago landmarks (like the Field museum, sporting events, or cooking classes). Volunteers go with the veterans on the outings and welcome them to the city (many are coming from out of town). The IOP runs for 3 weeks each month and volunteers are needed the Saturdays the program runs from 1-5pm.

Musical Minds Project

Providing personalized music therapy through curated playlists while bridging the divide between young providers and elderly patients.  Psychosocial rehabilitation meets physical rehabilitation at Rush JRB and Geropsychology Units with weekly sessions of one on one interaction between volunteers and patients through the mutual connection of music.  One simple question gives way to dialogue, laughter and stories previously untold: “What is your favorite song”.