CHICAGO— The U.S. Green Building Council proclaimed the Rush University Medical Center tower in Chicago to be the world’s largest new healthcare construction project to achieve LEED gold certification, the second-highest rating possible in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Designed by Perkins+will architects, the $654 million, 14-story 830,000-squarefoot building includes 304 beds on the top five floors, a landscaped “green” roof, water-conserving sinks and toilets, and energy-efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, according to a Rush news release. Its butterfly shape is designed to make use of natural light, and about 20% of its steel, wallboard and interior wall coverings were obtained through recycled materials. “From the outset of our facilities planning, we made a commitment to sustainability, because—in the long run—it is good for our patients, our employees and the entire community,” Peter Butler, Rush president and chief operating officer, said in the release. Only three hospital projects have been certified LEED platinum: The Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin; Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, Greensburg, Kan.; and the third-floor renovation project for the Katz Women’s Hospital, a 73-bed facility attached to the North Shore-long Island Jewish Health System’s 812-bed North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.
BISMARCK, N.D.— At the end of last year, North Dakota’s Medcenter One and Sanford Health released statements that said the two systems were talking about working together, but that this didn’t necessarily mean a merger was in the works. In April, the two systems announced a nonbinding letter of intent and memorandum of understanding regarding a potential merger. The boards of both organizations will make a final determination about a merger this summer with a possible effective date later in the year, according to a Sanford Health news release. Sanford is a 20hospital integrated system with dual headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo, N.D. Medcenter One is a 166doctor integrated system anchored by its namesake 203-bed hospital in Bismarck. “We believe strongly that patients shouldn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes for quality healthcare,” Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford, said in the release. “We also trust local voices and local boards for idea generation and leadership. Sanford Health truly believes in the power of each local community it serves.” Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Medcenter One president and CEO, said in the release that a merger would create one of the largest healthcare organizations in the Midwest and provide an “even greater voice on the national level in order to help shape the future of healthcare delivery.” Sanford Health also recently signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire 16-bed Hillsboro (N.D.) Medical Center, a critical-access hospital that Sanford has been managing since October 2000.
Chicago’s Rush tower is the world’s largest healthcare project to be LEED gold-certified.