Chicago Home to #1 Rehabilitation Hospital for 17th Consecutive Year - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on July 13, 2007

Chicago Home to #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America for Record 17th Consecutive Year

Rehabilitation Medicine Emerges As an Increasingly Significant Specialty As Iraq War and Aging Population Create Increase in People with Physical Disabilities

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the leading physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital in the country, today announced it has been ranked the “#1 rehabilitation hospital in America” for the 17th consecutive year based on a survey of board-certified physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) as reported in the July 25th “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report.

It is expected that rehabilitation hospitals like RIC will play an increasingly crucial role in improving health and quality of life for people with disabilities as the American population ages and sustain more physical health impairments and more U.S. service men and women return from war with traumatic injuries requiring quality rehabilitation care.

By the year 2030, it is estimated that more than 28 million people will have some form of life-altering disability, double the estimates for today’s older population[1]. RIC is positioned to provide a complete continuum of care including acute inpatient, outpatient and day rehabilitation services to treat all levels of injury from arthritis and back pain to more severe conditions like stroke and brain injury.

“It is RIC’s vision to make a difference in the world for people with disabilities,” said Joanne Smith, M.D., president and CEO of RIC. “Because of the extremely talented and dedicated employees at RIC, the Institute is able to deliver on its mission to provide the best rehabilitation care in the world. RIC is well-positioned and eager to deliver on this highest level of excellence."

RIC, the nation's first freestanding rehabilitation hospital, was founded in 1954 on the belief that the same great care that aided World War II veterans could help private citizens with disabilities return home to community and family and achieve their best life possible. Today, RIC has come full circle and is extending its world-class clinical expertise to traumatically injured service men and women as well as translating innovative research to the bedside through the development of medical advancements that will benefit those with disabilities – including injured soldiers returning from war.

This year, RIC had the privilege of treating U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Edmundson, who sustained a traumatic brain injury in combat while serving in Iraq. After his family was notified by military physicians that Eric would remain in a vegetative state for life, his family admitted him to RIC where he underwent six months of rehabilitation and was able to walk out of the doors of RIC to his family and friends upon discharge.

RIC also has pioneered work in prosthetics developing the world’s first neuro-controlled bionic arm. This unique technology, which allows an amputee to control a motorized arm by thought, has successfully been used in several RIC patients. Now, Dr. Kuiken and his team are working with military leaders to collaborate on providing this technology for military service men and women who have lost limbs in combat.

"It is an honor and a privilege for RIC to care for returning U.S. service men and women with the nation's best in rehabilitation care. RIC stands ready and eager to deliver clinical care to our country’s most exceptional citizens – our country’s injured war heroes." said Dr. Smith.

U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIC the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America ” every year since 1991.

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

RIC offers a complete continuum of care for patients. RIC operates a flagship hospital in Chicago for inpatient treatment as well as a network of day rehabilitation 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 .   RIC is leading the way in rehabilitation research. The Searle Rehabilitation Research Center at RIC is the world’s largest research center of its kind, with more than 250 research projects currently underway.

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[1] Institute of Medicine . The Future of Disability in America.