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Health Care Hall of Fame

Ruth Rothstein
Inducted in 2004

Ruth Rothstein
1923-2013
Inducted in 2004

Believing that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, Rothstein spent her career keeping two Chicago-area hospitals alive that served the poor.

As president and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital on Chicago’s West Side, she was able to retain staff despite losing its medical school partner. Then, at an age when most people are contemplating retirement, Rothstein went to work at chronically underfunded Cook County Hospital in Chicago—which became the inspiration for the hit TV show “ER”—where Rothstein’s job was to rebuild the obsolete facility.

Eventually Rothstein’s work would help pave the way for the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, which opened in 2002 as a replacement for Cook County Hospital. Also Rothstein expanded Cook County’s community clinics from six to 30, which led to the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, a clinic for the prevention, care and research of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

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