Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Mission

Our goal is to help develop health care professionals who are reflective of the communities, patients and region we serve, and who have gained an understanding of the many forms diversity takes.

We believe that all people are multi-dimensional. We are global citizens with rich experiences and perspectives. We are spiritual. We are veterans. We are capable. We are LGBTQ. We are empowered.  We are inclusive. We are advancing the future of health care.

We are Rush.

Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

LMSA and SNMA medical students

Our student affinity groups strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all backgrounds. In collaboration with the Diversity and Inclusion office, these groups host co-curricular activities that raise the level of awareness and appreciation for the many types of diversity at Rush.

The following lists a few of the student affinity groups:

  • Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) - The purpose for the Latino Medical Student Association, or LMSA, student organization is to encourage and create an atmosphere where in professional excellence and moral principles can find the fullest expression in order to promote the dissemination of information relative to minority issues in the field of medical education. We also find it necessary to take the proper steps to eradicate practices in the field of health profession education that compromises the goal of providing quality education to minorities and women and to promote the development of workable programs of legislative policies for the provision of enhanced access to better health care. It is also in our organizations duty to promote the sponsorship of programs for minority youth to encourage their entrance into the health professions. We also focus in promoting increases in the levels of minority student recruitment, admissions, and retention in schools training health professionals and to encourage and promote the development of minority faculty in order to increase the presence of minority mentors and biomedical researchers in academic health centers.
  • RushPRIDE
    Rush PRIDE - RushPRIDE is established to advocate for a supportive and tolerant environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and straight members of the Rush University Medical Center community.  In keeping with the mission of RUMC our goal is to educate both the Rush and local communities about issues affecting LGBTQ individuals, particularly those issues that can affect patient care. We organize educational and social events, offer a forum for discussion and support regarding LGBTQ concerns, and provide networking and mentorship opportunities for members.  Rush Pride welcomes people of any sexual orientation or gender identity.   We hope to foster an environment of open-mindedness, understanding, and empowerment through ongoing education and outreach within the Rush community.
  • Student National Medical Association (SNMA) - The Rush chapter of Student National Medical Association, or SNMA, is dedicated to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, serving local minority communities, and increasing the number of culturally competent and socially conscious physicians. SNMA works to foster relationships with other Rush graduate students, and residents. Throughout the year we organize events that offer opportunities for professional networking, community outreach, and highlight topics relevant to minority patient populations. 

Diversity and Inclusion in Graduate Medical Education

Day of Service

Rush University is committed to increasing the number of doctors from under-represented minorities. We see diversity as a strength and essential in helping all the doctors we train, regardless of background, to work more effectively and compassionately with their colleagues and patients.

Graduate Medical Education plays a role in the larger effort of increasing and celebrating diversity and inclusion at Rush University through events and seminars on campus. In addition, our residents and fellows volunteer their time in community service projects to help diverse communities in need.

Residents and fellows have also organized a house staff committee to examine issues of diversity in medicine and share their experiences.

Learn more about how Rush University is fostering diversity on the front lines of health care.

Rush Diversity Leadership Council

The Rush Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) ensures the development and implementation of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy and that effective programs are in place to address the needs and interests of our employees and students. Members of the DLC include: Arlene Cruz, Christopher Nolan, Clayton Thomason, Cynthia Barginere, Cynthia Boyd, David Ansell, Diane Howard, Dina Pilipczuk, Gayle Ward, John Andrews, Justin Johnson, Kate Webster, Norma Melgoza, Omar Lateef, Ranga Krishnan, Sharon Gates, Sheila Dugan, Stacey Ries, Wrenetha Julion, and Zaida Rodriguez.

Leadership Message

Terry Peterson, Chair, Diversity Leadership Council; Vice President, Corporate and External Affairs

In traditional institutional circles, diversity and inclusion are treated as values of secondary importance: a desirable, but not critical, trait in an organization – something out of the mainstream of what counts toward an organization’s performance and reputation. At Rush, however, we passionately believe that promoting equity and inclusiveness for all individuals in our organization is crucial to successfully living our mission.

For an institution which makes diversity and inclusiveness high priorities, accomplishments are not to be solely measured by the efficiency and quality of services performed by administrators, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, housekeepers, grounds crews, and other groups. Rather, achievements must also be measured by: (1) the quality of the interactions between individuals and groups within the organization, (2) the success of our efforts to honor our differences, (3) our ability to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce at every level, and (4) establishing a culture which consistently welcomes, promotes and encourages diversity. For these reasons, meeting the challenges of diversity and inclusion—whether it’s recognizing our differences, facing up to the difficulties of working well together, or changing longstanding practices to improve equity and inclusiveness – is crucial to our work. The benefits of meeting these challenges, although difficult to quantify, are:

  • A strengthened ethical foundation
  • More robust decision making
  • Reduced conflict and improved communication
  • Better performance on the part of individuals who feel connected and relevant
  • Improved relationships between the institution and the community

Clearly, it is important for Rush University Medical Center to treat diversity and inclusion as an organizational imperative and it is what we strive for … every day.