RIC Milestones 1974-1993
The Community Gets Active
RIC's Flagship Hospital, as
seen from Lake Michigan
1974 The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) new 20-story building is dedicated as the first facility ever to be designed as a comprehensive center for rehabilitation care, education and research. It's the largest free-standing structure of its kind. The hospital is paid for entirely through private contributions and a grant from the federal government.
1975 The Institute's first endowment – the Dixon-Heyworth Research and Training Fund – is established to provide permanent, ongoing support. Learn how you can donate to support our mission.
1976 Following a conference co-chaired by Mayor Richard J. Daley and Dr. Henry B. Betts, RIC establishes an intensive Injury Prevention Program in memory of John Austin, a 16-year old killed with four friends while racing on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The program is aimed at lessening the incidence of preventable injuries.
1980 RIC founds Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, a pioneering independent living center that in 1987 becomes an autonomous organization. Its first president, Marca Bristo, will serve later as President Clinton's Council for People with Disabilities.
1981 Through the generosity of the Wirtz family and the RIC Women's Board, the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Sports Program is established to offer competitive and recreational sports for people with disabilities.
1983 The Institute founds the Legal Clinic for the Disabled with the help of the area's young lawyers. This clinic continues to provide free legal services to people with physical or developmental disabilities who meet eligibility requirements.
1984 It becomes a requirement for all NU medical students to complete a rotation in physical medicine and rehabilitation at RIC – in 1984 less than 1% of all medical schools required a rotation in physical medicine.
1985 The Institute receives its first federal grant in support of the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System.
1986 Dr. Henry B. Betts is named RIC's president and chief executive officer.
1989 On his 25th anniversary as medical director, Dr. Betts' service in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation is honored by the Prince Charitable Trusts, which establishes the Henry B. Betts Award for individuals whose work has improved the quality of life for people with disabilities.
1990 The Associate Board is founded as a volunteer organization for young professionals.
1991 U.S. News & World Report ranks RIC as the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" in its first publication of medical rankings. RIC has received this recognition every year since 1991. In this same year RIC's Women with Disabilities Center is founded.
1993 RIC establishes its first corporate partnership – RIC at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
The Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Center is established under the leadership of Dr. Joel Press.
RIC receives major support from the National Institute on Disability Research of the U.S. Department of Education for a study on enhancing the quality of life for stroke survivors. This funding leads to a permanent center at RIC with world-class research programs in stroke rehabilitation.