RIC Executive Team - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Executive Leadership Team

Dr. Joanne Smith, CEO, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Joanne C. Smith, MD
President & Chief Executive Officer
Edward Case
Edward B. Case
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Betsy Owens, CMO, RIC
Betsy Owens
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer
Laura L. Ferrio
Laura L. Ferrio
Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive
Peggy Kirk
Peggy Kirk
Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Operating Officer
Nancy Paridy, JD, RIC Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Nancy E. Paridy, JD

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Elliot Roth, MD
Elliot Roth, MD
Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Richard L. Lieber, RIC SVP of Research
Richard L. Lieber, PhD
Senior Vice President of Research & Chief Scientific Officer
James Sliwa
James Sliwa, DO
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer & Chief Quality & Safety Officer
W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD
W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD
Director of Research Planning

 


Joanne C. Smith, MD

Joanne C. Smith, MD
President & Chief Executive Officer

Joanne C. Smith, MD, is a visionary leader and the driving force behind transforming the delivery of care in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) for the past decade, Dr. Smith has led RIC in its mission to provide the highest-quality patient care with the best outcomes through integrated research, discovery and education. Today she is leading RIC into its bold vision for the future: to be the global source of science-driven breakthroughs in Human Ability.     

Integrating advances in medicine, science and technology holds tremendous promise for patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and other devastating conditions such as stroke and amputation. RIC is inspired by a deep inner drive — a calling of conscience — to deploy its best assets and leading expertise to deliver on promises to patients, to improve their lives in ways previously unimaginable, and even to offer cures. Dr. Smith is the architect and champion of this approach.

For the past 26 years in a row, RIC has been named the #1 rehabilitation hospital by U.S. News & World Report. The scale of RIC’s research enterprise is the largest of its kind in the world. Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, RIC has experienced unprecedented growth and visibility. During her tenure as CEO, net revenues have increased 83% and cash reserves have grown 123% During the same period, grant revenues have grown 105%. Dr. Smith has also extended RIC’s reach; today, it serves more than 57,500 patients annually from 43 states and 64 countries.

Dr. Smith has been equally successful in spearheading the Institute’s capital campaign in support of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a revolutionary new research hospital. RIC’s level of investment is unprecedented in rehabilitation and stems from Dr. Smith’s confidence that the sector is poised for fundamental change — a belief shared by the many donors whose generosity has led RIC to well surpass its $300 million goal. By deploying science and tools in the clinical space as never before, RIC will lead this change, setting new global standards for outcomes and recoveries that will profoundly affect patients, scientific discovery and the way healthcare is delivered.

This approach represents RIC’s big bet on — and confidence in — the insight it will glean from integrating science and technology as embodied in the novel design and construction of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The 1.2-million-square-foot facility will be the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same space, surrounding patients, discovering new approaches and applying (“translating”) research real time.

In addition to her leadership at RIC, where she heads a team of 2,000 clinicians, scientists and staff, Dr. Smith is also a faculty member at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NU-FSM) and a member of several professional organizations. In 2008, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She serves on the Healthcare Advisory Roundtable for Madison Dearborn Partners and on the Boards of Directors for Performance Health, Inc. and AptarGroup, Inc.

Dr. Smith earned a BS, cum laude, from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., an MD degree, with Alpha Omega Alpha distinction, from Michigan State University, and is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

After completing her residency and chief residency at NU-FSM, Dr. Smith joined RIC as a practicing physician in 1992 and served the Institute in progressively expanded clinical, service development and operating roles. In 2006, she was appointed President and CEO of RIC.

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Edward B. Case

Edward B. Case
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Ed Case is a senior financial and operations executive with more than 25 years of experience leading health care, academic, and community organizations. As Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for RIC, Mr. Case provides leadership and oversight for all financial aspects of the Institute. In accordance with the Board-approved strategic plan for financial excellence, he is responsible for financial planning, financial reporting to internal and external constituents, treasury functions, contracting, and capital and operating budgets. In keeping with the Institute's mission of advocacy, Mr. Case also holds a key role in educating local, state, and federal legislators about important financial issues related to patient care for people with disabilities.

For the past two years, Mr. Case has also taken on executive oversight of RIC’s new research hospital, The Ability Institute. The new state-of-the art building is expected to take just under four years to complete, at a total cost of $550 million.

Mr. Case joined RIC from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was President & Owner of Healthcare Resource Associates, a leading provider of financial outsourcing solutions for physicians and hospitals. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Presbyterian Healthcare in Charlotte. He also held several positions with BJC Health System in St. Louis, including Acting CEO, CFO, and CFO of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Prior to joining BJC, he was CFO at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis.

Mr. Case graduated cum laude with a BS in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and earned a MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a lecturer at both UNC and Washington University in the Master of Healthcare Administration programs.

Mr. Case was named the “2013 Chicago CFO of the Year” by the Financial Executives International (FEI) association.

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Betsy Owens, CMO, RIC

Betsy Owens
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer

Betsy Owens is Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer at RIC. She brings a diverse, deep background and history of brand-building success, as well as an array of skills. She was President and Chief Operating Officer at Farley’s and Sathers, a leading confectionery manufacturer. Previously, Ms. Owens oversaw the Sears Kenmore brand, with profit-and-loss responsibility for the multibillion dollar business. Her overhaul of Kenmore’s product design, brand positioning and marketing strategy resulted in restoring Kenmore to the No. 1 appliance brand in unit and dollar sales.

Before her tenure at Sears, Ms. Owens was Chief Marketing Officer and Senior VP at Rand McNally and Company, where she directed strategy, marketing, brand and product development for five of their businesses. She held leadership roles in both the United States and in Asia for SC Johnson, and launched her career in brand management and sales at Gillette and Procter & Gamble.

Ms. Owens has both her MBA and BA from Harvard University.

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Laura L. Ferrio

Laura L. Ferrio
Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive

Laura Ferrio has a broad range of responsibilities from managing the quality of patient care to directing all aspects of nursing, allied health and ancillary services in the flagship hospital. In her 30 years at RIC, Laura co-founded the LIFE Center, which now houses the largest collection of patient education and consumer health resources for people with disabilities. She also led the effort to achieve nursing excellence culminating in RIC being named the first Magnet rehabilitation hospital in the country. Laura has served as the clinical project executive overseeing the implementation of RIC’s new hospital information system ensuring clinical documentation is seamlessly performed at point-of-care. Most recently, Laura has been on the senior leadership team planning for the Ability Institute of RIC, the new research hospital.

Laura earned a BS in Nursing from Northern Illinois University, a certification in the specialty field of rehabilitation nursing, a board certification as an advanced nurse executive, the first dual-degree graduate from Loyola University of Chicago MBA-MSN program, and completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellowship for Nurse Executives. She has been a champion of nurses everywhere as the past president of the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders and past president of the Illinois Coalition for Nursing Resources. Laura was also selected as the "Illinois Nurse Leader of the Year" by the University of Illinois College of Nursing Institute of Healthcare Innovation in 2004. Laura received a governor appointment and served 10 years on the Illinois State Board of Nursing.

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Peggy Kirk

 

Peggy Kirk
Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Operating Officer

Peggy Kirk became RIC’s Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Operating Officer in 2007, following a long and distinguished career with the Institute spanning more than three decades. Prior to her current role, Ms. Kirk held consecutive roles as Vice President of Operations for RIC’s Day Rehabilitation programs and RIC’s Strategic Alliance.

Earlier leadership roles included Corporate Director for Inpatient Services, a position in which she developed and operated a number of RIC strategic partnerships in acute care hospitals.

During her tenure as a staff nurse and Nurse Manager for RIC’s spinal cord injury program, she served as co-investigator on externally funded grants related to care following spinal cord injury. She also co-authored Spinal Cord Injury: A Guide to Rehabilitation Nursing, as well as a number of peer-reviewed articles on a variety of rehabilitation topics. Ms. Kirk earned her BS in Nursing from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.

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Nancy Paridy

Nancy E. Paridy, JD
Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Nancy E. Paridy, JD, LLM, is a member of RIC’s executive management team, and oversees and directs the Institute’s legal, compliance, ethics and human resources departments. She also oversees the Institute’s insurance needs and its government and community affairs, as well as board functions.

Ms. Paridy joined RIC in 1995 as Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining RIC, Ms. Paridy practiced law in the areas of litigation and corporate healthcare as a partner of the Chicago-based firm Rooks, Pitts and Poust (now known as Dykema Gossett), as well as at Ungaretti and Harris (now known as Nixon Peabody).

Ms. Paridy received her law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, Kent College of Law, and earned her Master of Laws in health law at Loyola University. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University. She also studied at the St. Louis University School of Law and the University of London. She has been admitted to practice law in Illinois since 1983, and is a member of the Trial Bar for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Throughout her career, Ms. Paridy has been recognized for her outstanding leadership. From Western Illinois University College of Arts and Sciences, she received the “Distinguished Alumni Award,” the “Alumni Achievement Award” and “Outstanding History Alumnus Award.” She was named “Top General Counsel” in 2011 by First Chair, as well as by Ethisphere magazine in 2012. In 2014, she received the “Professional Achievement Award” from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Ms. Paridy has lectured and written extensively on healthcare and serves as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

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Elliot Roth

Elliot Roth, MD
Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Eliot J. Roth, MD, is the Medical Director of RIC’s Patient Recovery Unit, a newly created care setting designed to integrate clinical patient care and active medical research. He is also the Paul B. Magnuson Professor and Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He joined RIC in 1987 as Associate Director of the Spinal Cord Injury program, later founded RIC’s Center for Stroke Rehabilitation, and then served as Senior Vice President and Medical Director of the Institute for from 1994 to 2007.

Dr. Roth maintains an active RIC practice and is widely recognized as a leading expert in interdisciplinary stroke rehabilitation and other disabling neurological conditions such as spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. His research and academic interests focus on enhancing recovery, improving functional outcomes and preventing associated medical conditions for people with functional impairment. He leads several research projects funded by federal agencies and private foundations, including high-profile National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) initiatives.

In addition to his patient care and research, Dr. Roth is highly respected and decorated as a teacher. Always emphasizing interdisciplinary collaboration, directs weekly Chairman’s Rounds with residents and medical students, a Fellow Seminar and daily clinical teaching rounds. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers, invited review articles and book chapters, and holds a patent. He also holds top editorial roles for several leading journals. He has served as a Visiting Professor at 15 academic medical centers and is widely sought as a speaker and expert panelist.

Dr. Roth earned his MD from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where he also completed his PM&R residency training. He is Board Certified in PM&R.

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Richard L. Lieber, RIC SVP of Research and Chief Scientific Officer

Richard L. Lieber, PhD
Senior Vice President of Research & Chief Scientific Officer

Richard L. Lieber, PhD, oversees all research endeavors throughout the RIC system of care. He joined RIC in July 2014, bringing an extensive research focus on the science and physiology of skeletal muscle. Dr. Lieber is the established expert in the field, both nationally and internationally, and is a pioneer in conducting translational research. He is also a Professor of PM&R at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Lieber’s laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in both investigator-initiated grants, as well as center grants. He is also Senior Research Career Scientist in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he receives support from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research and Development Service.

Prior to joining RIC, Dr. Lieber was Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and principal investigator of the San Diego Skeletal Muscle Research Center — an NIH-funded center designed to leverage muscle expertise on behalf of patients in the San Diego community. He earned his PhD in Biophysics, with a minor in Electrical Engineering, from the University of California, Davis, where he also received a BS in Physiology. He recently completed his MBA at the University of California, San Diego Rady School of Management.

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James Sliwa

James Sliwa, DO
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer & Chief Quality & Safety Officer

James Sliwa, DO, is the Chief Medical Officer & Chief Quality and Safety Officer at the Institute. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing patient quality and safety throughout the RIC system of care.

Through his medical expertise and leadership, Dr. Sliwa is focused on driving the highest level of performance for patient care and outcomes at RIC.

Formerly Medical Director of the General Rehabilitation Program at RIC, Dr. Sliwa completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency training at RIC in 1984 and has been an active physician for the past 30 years. As a practicing physician, Dr. Sliwa specializes in cancer rehabilitation and treating neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

He is also the Program Director for residency training in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Sliwa earned his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his internship at Chicago Osteopathic Hospital. He completed his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

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W. Zev Rymer

W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD
Director of Research Planning

W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD, has lent his expertise and leadership to RIC for the last quarter century. He was the second scientist hired by RIC and is the force behind the growth and success of our research enterprise to date, the largest and most internationally revered of its kind. He served the Institute as Chief Scientist for nine years, transitioning to his current role as Director of Research Planning in July 2014. Today he also continues to lead his renowned Sensory Motor Performance Program (SMPP) laboratories. In addition, Dr. Rymer served as RIC’s John G. Searle Chair in Rehabilitation Research, stepping down in July 2014.

In addition to his research roles at RIC, Dr. Rymer holds appointments as professor of physiology and biomedical engineering at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and at the Edward Hines, Jr., Veterans Administration Hines Hospital, Hines, Illinois. His laboratory receives support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a number of research-oriented foundations and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Rymer earned his medical degree from Melbourne University and his PhD in neurophysiology from Monash University, both in Australia. After postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University Medical School, he became an assistant professor of neurosurgery and physiology at the State University of New York, Syracuse. In 1978, he came to Chicago as an assistant professor of physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and he remained as a faculty member in physiology until his appointment at the RIC in 1989.

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