RUSH and Franciscan Alliance, Inc., are partnering to jointly develop and provide clinical services to improve the availability of health care to patients in Northwest Indiana.

The partnership includes RUSH (Rush University System for Health) and Franciscan Health hospitals in Crown Point, Dyer, Hammond, Michigan City and Munster. Patients now have streamlined access to subspecialty care offered by RUSH providers, while staying connected and receiving many services in their own communities. The agreement establishes coordinated care between RUSH and Franciscan, with direct collaboration between providers to ensure that patients receive the highest-quality care in the most cost-effective way possible, while ensuring an outstanding experience for them and their families.

“Our organizations have a shared goal of bringing the best and latest treatments to the communities we serve,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, RUSH president and CEO. “We’ve been honored to provide care in the region for many years, and this partnership makes it even simpler for our teams to come together to offer the care that patients and their families need.”

“This partnership with RUSH affirms Franciscan Health’s commitment to providing patients with cutting-edge treatments and university-level care close to home,” said Franciscan Alliance President and CEO Kevin Leahy. “RUSH’s expertise and access to clinical treatments combined with Franciscan’s new state-of-the-art facilities and compassionate care create a team that can tackle a patient’s most complex health challenges.”

Potential clinical affiliations include oncology, neurology, neurosurgery and related surgical specialties. Under the agreement, Franciscan locations can be clinical trial sites, expanding access to the latest clinical treatments to patients in Northwest Indiana. RUSH is the exclusive academic medical system partner of Franciscan Alliance, while Franciscan facilities serve as the regional medical centers of choice.

“This partnership truly benefits patients by connecting academic medicine directly to the communities in which they live,” said Dr. Paul Casey, senior vice president and chief medical officer at RUSH University Medical Center. “Our nationally recognized neurosciences and cancer programs are even stronger with Franciscan as our partner. This is a great opportunity to work together toward a common goal of creating healthier communities.”

RUSH and Franciscan have existing clinical partnerships, notably an arrangement for RUSH neurologists to provide virtual, real-time treatment for stroke patients presenting to Franciscan emergency rooms. In February 2022, Franciscan Health Cancer Center Munster and RUSH announced an agreement to bring the health system’s nationally recognized thoracic surgeons to the Franciscan Health Munster and Dyer campuses.

In January 2022, RUSH and Franciscan Alliance, Inc., announced an agreement that provides advisory services to assist Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in graduate medical education and physician recruitment, allowing trainees to participate in RUSH grand rounds and other educational activities.