Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Earns “Best Hospital” Designation from U.S. News & World Report - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC in the News

Published on August 02, 2016

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Earns “Best Hospital” Designation from U.S. News & World Report

Secures Top Ranking for 26 Consecutive Years of Advancing Human Ability

CHICAGO — Aug. 2, 2016 — The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has again been recognized as the national leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation, topping the U.S. News & World Report list for the twenty-sixth consecutive year. RIC is the only hospital of its kind to hold this distinction.

The independent news organization, which analyzes data for nearly 5,000 centers to rank the top adult and children’s hospitals, declared RIC to be the best hospital in its field as it has every year since 1991.

“RIC’s pioneering spirit has come to define the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation, and it’s an honor to once again earn the recognition of physicians and U.S. News & World Report,” said Joanne C. Smith, M.D., RIC’s president and CEO. “We continue our quest to be the global source of science-driven breakthroughs in human ability. We are investing heavily to offer our patients hope: the highest quality care integrated with scientific discovery and education, all to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

One such patient is Michael Patrick Thornton. In 2003, the up-and-coming actor, Steppenwolf alumnus and founder of The Gift Theatre experienced two spinal strokes resulting in incomplete paralysis. Through intensive therapy at RIC, which included, among other techniques, the recitation of Shakespeare soliloquies, Thornton regained his ability to speak and act.

More than a decade later, Thornton sought RIC’s support for his next challenge: bringing a robotic exoskeleton to the stage for the first time in live theater. With the help of RIC Research Scientist Arun Jayaraman, Ph.D. and P.T., Thornton tackled walking with the ReWalk exoskeleton. This spring, Thornton starred in the demanding title role of Shakespeare’s Richard III, earning rave reviews over the 10-week run.

“RIC has helped me get my life back,” said Thornton. “Thanks to the care and support I continue to receive to this day, I’m able to do what I love.”

RIC’s momentum continues as the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, its state-of-the-art research hospital, is set to open in March 2017. The $550 million, 1.2-million-square-foot Shirley Ryan AbilityLab will be the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists will work together in the same space, applying (or “translating”) research real time.

About the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC)

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world. Founded in 1953, RIC has been designated the “No. 1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America” by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. RIC sets the standard of care in the post-acute market through its innovative applied research and discovery programs, particularly in the areas of neuroscience, bionic medicine, musculoskeletal medicine and technology transfer. The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab — RIC’s new, state-of-the-art research hospital, will open in Spring 2017. For more information, go to