During the 2015–16 academic year, McGowan Fellows worked with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to address behavioral health issues in the emergency department. For many who live in the communities surrounding Rush, the ER was the first option for behavioral health patients, which oftentimes strained the ER’s capacity. The Fellows presented recommendations around acute care, patient segmentation, longitudinal care, and technology, which included suggestions to embed social services staff in the ER, use a more dynamic approach to patient segmentation, and develop partnerships with outside community organizations, among others.
There is no update specifically on the work done by Fellows with Rush’s ER. In an effort that touches on many of the recommendations from the Fellows, since 2017 Rush has been a leading member of West Side United, a nonprofit, collaborative effort involving Chicago’s healthcare institutions that aims to improve health in the surrounding communities.