The medical care in the ER at Rush Oak Park Hospital has always been first-rate. The physical surroundings in the 1969-built ER though were not good. As the patient count grew exponentially over the decades the facility became cramped and fully inadequate.

A plan to replace the ER has been percolating for well over a decade but required a major investment by Big Rush, the downtown parent of our community hospital. Ultimately $30 million has been spent to demolish the old and unused nursing school dorm to make way for the state-of-the-art, spacious, welcoming new facility which is scheduled to open today.

Twenty-two private treatment rooms, upgraded imaging facilities, two behavioral health treatment rooms, LEED certified, built to treat 40,000 patients annually.

That makes this a great day for Rush Oak Park Hospital and for the communities it serves. In a moment when we rightly worry over the future of community health care, we offer thanks to the Rush health system for this investment in our communities.