William H. Rush, MHA

In the 1970's and 80's, William Rush was a hospital administrator and worked for Medicare in Wash. DC.

During that time he developed the original regulations for a new concept, "Ambulatory Surgery Centers".  This was a new idea that recognized that with the advent of new less invasive surgical procedures, there was a lesser need for a hospital surgical setting.  This was seen as a great savings to patients and the insurance companies.  After developing the regulations, he visited many surgery centers, evaluated their efficacy and was convinced of their strong future. 

In 1983 he was offered the job of managing American Eye Instruments, Inc., a company that provided eye surgical support programs to small rural hospitals throughout the US.  As a result he left Wash. DC and relocated on the West Coast. He initiated the first AEI program at Curry General Hospital in 1984.  For 20 years AEI, inc. provided eye surgical support to small rural hospitals all across the US. AEI, inc. remains in business today under the new name of Sightpath. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

In 1998 he talked with Medicare and discovered that Medicare was not planning to allow Brookings to ever build its own hospital. As a result, he questioned them and the State of Oregon about the possibility of a surgery center in Brookings. Their response was that "a surgery center in Brookings was the perfect solution to that communities needs."  They committed to full support.

 

So, after discussions with members of the Curry General Hospital Board, Medicare and the State of Oregon regulators, the idea of  building an Ambulatory Surgical Center in Brookings, Oregon was approved.  After 5 years in the planning and construction, May 2006, Rush Surgery Center was opened.  Unfortunately, 6 months prior to its opening, William Rush died.  His legacy for Curry County, Curry General Hospital and especially the people of Brookings remains a significant achievement.

 

William was a descendant of Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence and first Surgeon General of the United States.