Physician Named Nation's First Chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on November 28, 2007

RIC Physician Named Nation's First Chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

Dr. Joel Press

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), today announced a $1 million established chair named the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. The inauguration of this Chair was celebrated through an investiture ceremony designating nationally-renowned physiatrist, Joel Press, MD, the Chair holder – the first of its kind in the nation.

Members of the baby-boom generation demand an active lifestyle in which they can cycle, play basketball, golf, ski and run. Sports injuries for these nearly 77 million Americans have become the number-two reason nationwide for a visit to a doctor's office, which represents a 42 percent increase in the past decade. Under the leadership and vision of Dr. Press, RIC will build and enhance its research operations to apply evidence-based treatments and interventions to make a difference in the lives of those with musculoskeletal conditions such as sports injuries, back and joint pain and women’s health conditions.

“Our gift is a tribute to Dr. Joel Press and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, both of which are the best at what they do,” said David Logan. “I know under Dr. Press’ leadership that the future is going to be bright for his patients.”

More than a decade ago, David Logan, who had survived cancer and was returning to his active lifestyle, suffered a pinched back nerve, which brought him to RIC’s Spine & Sports Rehabilitation Center (SSRC). Logan underwent physical therapy under the medical direction of Dr. Press and was soon able to return to his regular work-outs, tennis matches and long hikes. Today, as Logan looks toward his 90th birthday, he and Mrs. Logan invest in RIC’s philosophy of rehabilitation and active aging, particularly in musculoskeletal conditions, to ensure that it grows through research and the continued delivery of world-class clinical care.

“I am truly honored to have received the designation as the Reva and David Logan Chair,” said Press, medical director of the SSRC. “I am committed to building a clinical research structure that builds on RIC’s history of innovative musculoskeletal rehabilitation care and continues to develop breakthroughs that enable people to get back to enjoying their lives and make a real difference.”

RIC’s musculoskeletal rehabilitation practice provides non-operative treatments for conditions and diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system including low back pain; neck pain; pain affecting the ankle, foot and knee; shoulder pain; and athletic injuries. 

“RIC is dedicated to advancing the delivery of clinical care through advanced, applied research,” said Elliot Roth, MD, Chief Academic Officer at RIC. “Through this endowment, RIC’s musculoskeletal practice will be equipped to deliver quality, state-of-the-art musculoskeletal rehabilitation for years to come.”

Background on Dr. Joel Press

Dr. Press is the author of The Couch Potato Workout: 101 Exercises You Can Do At Home, published in 2006. In June 2007, he rode his bicycle 3,861 miles across country in the “Ride for Rehab” to raise awareness of the critical role that physiatry and rehabilitation play in restoring function and improving quality of life for all patients.

Dr. Press graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980, earning a BS degree with distinction in microbiology. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984 and completed his internship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University Medical School in 1984-85. He completed his residency at Northwestern University Medical School, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, in 1988. He has been an attending physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since 1988 and in 1989 he founded the Sports Rehabilitation Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Dr. Press also is assistant professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Press is the past president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a past president of the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation as well as the North American Spine Society.

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) was founded in 1954 with a vision to make a difference in the lives for people with disabilities. RIC has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC treats a range of conditions, from the complex such as stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, to the more common such as arthritis, chronic pain and sports injuries. RIC’s world-class care can be attributed in part to its innovative research, particularly in the areas of bionic medicine, robotics, neural interface, pain and outcomes. RIC operates a 165-bed, flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of 30 sites of care located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs that provide day rehabilitation and outpatient services. RIC also maintains strategic alliances with other leading healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and north central Indiana.