Community Outreach

The Woman’s Board raises vital funds for the Medical Center through the production of the annual Fall Benefit, the annual Spring Luncheon and the operation of two Gift Shops. Averaging an approximate $750,000 contribution to the Medical Center each year, allows the Woman’s Board to truly serve those areas that need it the most. In addition to the principal project that is selected each year, the Woman’s Board also holds an annual appropriations meeting in the spring. The areas that have been granted funding are detailed below.

Nursing Course for Excellence Awards

Rush's Magnet designation in nursing proves that our nurses are among the best in the nation. And Rush's shared governance model ensures that nurses have a powerful voice in determining nursing practice and standards, and reflects the medical center's belief that its nurses play an integral role in maintaining and continuously improving its already excellent patient care. The Woman’s Board supports Rush’s outstanding nursing department by funding the Course for Excellence Awards that recognize two individuals and two teams of nurses that make significant contributions to enhance Magnet work.

Breast Imaging Center

Rush University Medical Center's Breast Imaging Center has been designated a breast imaging center of excellence by the American College of Radiology. The Center was designed around women's needs with relaxed decor in the waiting room to the spacious private lockers; the facility is designed to put women at ease. The Woman’s Board provides funding to supply the waiting room with current magazines, fresh water and various other amenities to make patients more comfortable.

Social Services

The Case Management Department at Rush provides aid and assistance to Rush patients and their families in need of medication, transportation, food, parking and housing. The Medical Center and the Woman’s Board believe in providing the very best care to patients regardless of their ability to pay and as such provides significant funding to the Case Management Department to ensure that patients are able to access their care and supplies.

Religion, Health & Human Values Memorial Services

The Woman’s Board provides the funding for the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values to host five memorial services throughout the year. Memorial Services are held each quarter with an additional service specifically for children and infants held once a year. Many times these memorial services are the only opportunity a patient’s family has to host a service for their loved one. The Woman’s Board also provides funding to have fresh flowers and a variety of literature available in the Medical Center’s non-denominational Chapel.

Hospital Guest Relations Woman’s Board Scholarship

The Woman’s Board Scholarship is awarded to a deserving high school or college student volunteer to assist with funding their college education. Awardees must have completed a minimum of 40 volunteer hours and maintained a minimum GPA of a 3.0.

Rush Day School

Rush Day School, founded in 1967, is a not-for-profit therapeutic school offering education and treatment for autism spectrum and emotionally disabled children ages six to fourteen. The Woman’s Board provides yearly funding to the Rush Day School to purchase supplies and technology needed to assist in the curriculum of the school.

Grand Rounds Speaking Circuit

The Woman’s Board provides funding to the Department of Psychiatry to host three continuing education series called Grand Rounds. These educational seminars are open to all Rush practitioners and focus on ways to promote interdisciplinary medicine within the Medical Center.


The Woman’s Board is the sole funding source of Kids Shelter Health Improvement Project (KidsSHIP), which provides health care to children and adolescents living in homeless shelters in Chicago. Faculty members of the Division of General Pediatrics and pediatric residents conduct outreach visits to shelters in the neighborhoods surrounding the Rush campus. In addition to providing health care to those in need, Kids-SHIP also provides an important training opportunity for students and residents. This experience gives students and residents hands-on training in treating homeless and underserved patients and allows them to become familiar with this group’s unique healthcare needs.

Reach Out and Read (ROAR)

Operated by the Rush Pediatric Primary Care Center, ROAR promotes early childhood literacy. Patients, five years and under, of the Pediatric Center are given age-appropriate books at every wellness visit. The Woman’s Board has been funding ROAR through both financial gifts and through two annual book drives since its inception at Rush in 1999. In FY13, ROAR was able to distribute over 6,100 books to its patients due in large part to the support received from the Woman’s Board.

Preemie Picnic & NICU Graduate Reunion

The Preemie Picnic, funded by the Woman’s Board provides former patients and their families an opportunity to reconnect with their doctors, nurses, therapists and other NICU families. The event also provides attendees with ongoing educational opportunities on topics such as growth & development, health & nutrition, and safety. In addition to the benefit provided to attendees, the event also reaffirms the important work done by the NICU staff on a daily basis and highlights its impact.

Rush Community Service Initiative Program – Pediatric Red Ribbon Program & RU Caring

The Woman’s Board is dedicated to volunteerism and in such has been sponsoring the Red Ribbon and  RU Caring program for year. The Red Ribbon Program is a mentoring program that pairs Rush students with children impacted by HIV/ADIS at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital. The Rush students spend four to six hours each month with their “little sib”. These interactions have proven to be impactful for the children, helping them with coping mechanisms and socialization.

In addition, the students report that they receive a greater benefit for they grown in how they connect with patients with chronic illnesses and they develop a greater understanding in the life challenges for these patients. The Rush University Caring (RU Caring) Program reaches out to the entire city of Chicago through its annual health fairs. Through the health fairs, the RU Caring program brings traditional services and unique experiences in an effort to address the needs of patients and bring forth a message of prevention.

Haymarket Center

Haymarket Center and Rush began a collaboration in 2010, funded by the Woman’s Board. Medical and nursing students at Rush began a new clinical program in partnership with Haymarket Center, which is a comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment program located on the near Westside of Chicago.

The mission of Haymarket is to aid people with clinical dependency in their recovery by providing a continuum of optimal professional care that is responsive to the identified needs of the community. Rush students, funded by the Woman’s Board run a weekly clinic and have a seven week rotation of nursing students and their faculty on site, which helps to reduce the number of hospital emergency room visits.

Rush NeuroBehavioral Center – Executive Functioning

The Rush NeuroBehavioral Center’s mission is to empower young people with social, emotional and learning challenges to build on their strengths and thrive in life and relationships. The Woman’s Board is helping to fund the implementation of their Executive Functioning. Executive Functions are the cognitive processes that occur in the frontal lobe area of the brain that allow us to plan, organize, make decision, pay attention, and regular behavior. They allow us to solve problems and evaluate decisions we make.

The Executive Functions program focuses on teaching students organizational skills, time management strategies, the ability to assess individual strengths, how to set goal and the utilization of study skills for optimal student success.

College of Nursing School Health Centers

Through funding partially provided by the Woman’s Board, Rush operates School Health Centers at Crane High School, Orr Academy, and Simpson Academy to provide underserved students comprehensive urgent and primary care services, prenatal care, baby and toddler health care for the children of students, mental health services, and pregnancy prevention.

The Centers also provide funds for nutrition classes on healthy eating at all three schools and provide healthy snacks and drinks. All three schools served by these centers are located in the Rush neighborhood on the west side of Chicago in areas with high poverty levels. The health clinics average more than 4,000 student encounters per year from an average of 1,600 students.