New Medical Director Appointed to ’s Cancer Rehabilitation Program to Enhance and Expand Cancer Care Model - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on May 27, 2008

New Medical Director Appointed to RIC’s Cancer Rehabilitation Program to Enhance and Expand Cancer Care Model

Americans’ Need for Cancer Rehabilitation on Incline with National Survival Rates

Gail Gamble, M.D.

Gail Gamble, M.D.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), ranked the nation’s “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America,” today announced a significant  expansion of its Cancer Rehabilitation Program and the appointment of Mayo Clinic physician, Gail L. Gamble, M.D., to the position of Medical Director to lead advancement in the patient care program, education and clinical research for cancer patients.

American Cancer Society data indicates more than one million people are diagnosed with new cancer each year. Thanks to new advances in treatment options, new technologies and early detection, the cancer survival rates continue to increase. Studies show that there are more than 10 million active cancer survivors in America alone. As one of the first in the nation to provide cancer rehabilitation more than a decade ago, RIC is expanding its Cancer Rehabilitation Program, featured in a story that was published in the May 26, 2008 edition of the Chicago Tribune (opens new window, to focus on changing the face of cancer care through the integration of rehabilitation medicine with oncology care that enables cancer survivors to regain better functional ability and attain the best quality of life.

“Consistent with RIC setting the world’s standards in rehabilitation care, we feel compelled to address the functional needs of the growing number of cancer survivors through clinical discovery and evolution of our cancer rehabilitation treatment models,” said Joanne C. Smith, M.D., president and CEO, RIC. “Dr. Gamble, with nationally known expertise and two decades of leadership in the cancer rehabilitation field, brings to RIC a new level of talent that will propel our cancer rehabilitation program to have even greater impact on the lives of cancer patients.”

RIC’s cancer rehabilitation program treats patients across the post acute care continuum, which includes inpatient, day and outpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient and day rehabilitation focus on the initial stages of the treatment process caring for patients with significant functional deficits due to cancer such as brain and spinal cord tumors as well as patients with general debilitation due to cancer treatment.  Outpatient care focuses on high incidence cancers, such as breast and prostate. RIC’s cancer rehabilitation program includes an interdisciplinary team approach to physical medicine and rehabilitation care, including physicians and physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists and rehabilitation nurses who work to help patients achieve their personal goals. The program also includes a full complement of services to meet the unique needs of cancer patients, including nutrition counseling, specialized nursing care, psychology, social work, aqua therapy, assistive technology and vocational rehabilitation, as well as close coordination with the acute care oncology team. 

“RIC is uniquely positioned to meet the evolving rehabilitation needs of our nation’s cancer patients through innovative program modeling as well as through education and research regarding the ongoing functional needs of cancer patients,” said Gail L. Gamble, M.D. “I am honored to be a part of this world-class institution and applaud RIC’s commitment to leading an effort to support cancer patients and their quest to resume fulfilling lives.”  

Dr. Gamble brings more than 20 years of experience in cancer rehabilitation to RIC from the world renowned Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to an integrated mission of innovative patient care, scientific medical research and academic medical education. She is Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, a past-president of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and current member of the Residency Review Committee for her specialty. Dr. Gamble completed her medical school training at the Mayo Medical School and residency at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine. She has chaired the cancer rehabilitation program and associated lymphodema clinic at her Institution for many years.

As RIC continues to grow its Cancer Rehabilitation program, it will carefully steward a recent major gift of $1 million from the James C. Hemphill Foundation/Goldman Sachs & Co. for program development. In addition, RIC will host an important event to further enhance the fundraising efforts for cancer rehabilitation, the first annual RIC Medicine Ball, hosted by RIC’s Women’s Board on Sept. 6, 2008.  This black-tie benefit will be held at The Chicago History Museum and include dinner, dancing and a live auction.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is making a difference in the world for people with disabilities. RIC provides world-class care to patients from around the globe for a range of conditions from acute brain and spinal cord injury to chronic arthritis, pain and sports injuries. RIC, founded in 1954, has been designated the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991 and attributes its leading standard of care in part to its innovative research and discovery, particularly in the areas of bionic medicine, robotics, neural regeneration, pain care and better outcomes. RIC operates its 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 additional inpatient care, day rehabilitation and outpatient services. RIC also maintains strategic alliances with leading healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana.