Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth Visits RIC - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on April 04, 2007

Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth Visits Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Sergeant David Gaffney meets with Major Tammy Duckworth and RIC physicians

Active duty Sergeant David Gaffney,
who is being treated for a traumatic brain
injury by RIC's preeminent brain injury
rehabilitation program, shares his story
with Major Duckworth and her husband,
Captain Bryan Bowlsby.

Major Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both legs in combat in Iraq and Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, visited the  Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the nation's leading physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital, on Friday, March 30. Duckworth's tour of the facility follows her recent appearance before the U.S. Senate Committee for Veterans Affairs to address the current status of post-acute care for military veterans in the U.S.

Major Duckworth met with staff and patients in three of RIC's specialty treatment centers: the Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation unit, the Neural Engineering Center for Bionic Medicine and the Center for Pain Studies.

  • In the Traumatic Brain Injury unit, Major Duckworth met with Sergeant Eric Edmundson, an Iraq war veteran being treated by RIC's expert physicians and therapists.
  • The Neural Engineering Center is the leading center for research in the most advanced prosthetics, including RIC's original bionic arm technology. Major Duckworth met with the researchers who are working to develop and refine the bionic arm technology and meet the world's first Bionic Woman, Claudia Mitchell.
  • RIC's Center for Pain Studies is the only research center in the country solely dedicated to the study of alleviating pain. Researchers are currently studying the affects of phantom sensation and phantom pain in patients with amputations.  
Dr. Norm Harden demonstrates how a thermal imaging camera is used.

Dr. Norm Harden demonstrates how
a thermal imaging camera is used
to take measurements as part of the
phantom limb pain study conducted
at the RIC Center for Pain Studies.

"RIC is committed as part of its mission to influence actions that help our nation's wounded heroes receive the most advanced treatment and rehabilitation care to achieve their highest quality of life," said Dr. Joanne C. Smith, RIC president and CEO. "We are honored that Director Duckworth has taken an interest in RIC's model of care as she continues her process of learning more about civilian care options for America's traumatically injured service men and women."

RIC was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to provide the same level of care to civilians as returning World War II veterans. RIC is now working with military and government leaders to share its expertise as a civil hospital with today's returning U.S. service men and women. RIC has met with leaders of the Department of Defense, TRICARE, the military's insurance program, and Representatives from the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is dedicated to helping people with all levels and types of physical disabilities live a fulfilling life. U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIC the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" every year since 1991. RIC operates a flagship hospital in Chicago as well as a network of DayRehabCenters and outpatient centers located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. It also maintains strategic alliances with other healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and north central Indiana.

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