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 and Chief Executive Officer
Edward Case
Edward B. Case
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Betsy Owens, CMO, RIC
Betsy Owens
Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer
Laura L. Ferrio
Laura L. Ferrio
Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive
Lois Huggins
Lois M. Huggins
Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President
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, General Counsel and Government Affairs/Corporate Secretary
Elliot Roth
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
Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs, Chief Quality and Safety Officer
W. Zev Rymer
W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD
Director of Research Planning

 


Joanne C. Smith, MD, MBA

Joanne C. Smith, MD, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), America’s number-one rehabilitation hospital as named by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. Dr. Smith joined RIC as a practicing physician in 1992 after completing her residency and chief residency at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine (NU-FSM) and she was promoted to President and CEO in 2006, after serving the Institute in progressively expanded roles. In addition to her executive functions, Dr. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at NU-FSM. She enjoys the honor of being named one of Chicago’s “Top Doctors” by Chicago Magazine in every edition since 2004.

Dr. Smith is a member of several professional organizations, both regional and national, and serves on the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council.

Dr. Smith holds a BS, Cum Laude, from Oakland University in Rochester Michigan, an MD with Alpha Omega Alpha designation from Michigan State University, and is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Smith also holds an MBA from the University Of Chicago Booth Graduate School Of Business.

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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 over 25 years of experience leading health care, academic, and community organizations. As Executive Vice President and 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.

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 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and earned a Master of Public Health degree 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 and Innovation Officer

Betsy Owens is Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and 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 and 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 her 27 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 Bachelor of Science 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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Lois Huggins

Lois M. Huggins
Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President

Lois Huggins brings almost 20 years of experience in human resources leadership to build upon organizational excellence and position RIC for future growth and development.

Most recently, as the Chief People Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources of Sara Lee Corporation, Ms. Huggins oversaw global human resources and was responsible for community investments and the Sara Lee Foundation.

Ms. Huggins has served in a variety of senior executive human resources roles spanning multiple businesses and global geographic units for Sara Lee Corporation since 1987 including Divisional Vice President of Organization Development and Change Management at Coach Leatherware in New York, previously a division of Sara Lee, and then Vice President of Human Resources for Sara Lee Intimate Apparel in North Carolina. She joined the corporate human resources department in 2000 assuming leadership of organization development and diversity initiatives.

Ms. Huggins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and drama from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

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Peggy Kirk

 

Peggy Kirk
Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Operating Officer

Peggy Kirk became RIC’s Senior Vice President and 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, General Counsel & Government Affairs/Corporate Secretary

Nancy E. Paridy, JD, LLM, joined RIC in 1995 as Associate General Counsel and came to her current position through successive promotions over the ensuing years. Prior to 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.

As a member of the executive management team at RIC, Ms. Paridy oversees and directs the Institute's broad range of legal services in the areas of health law, litigation, employment law, joint venture relationships and management agreements, tax, fraud and abuse, regulatory interpretation and guidance, intellectual property, research, operations, government relations, corporate compliance and corporate governance. She also oversees the Institute's insurance needs and its government as well as community affairs and board functions.

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.

Ms. Paridy has been recognized for her outstanding leadership by receiving the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Achievement Award and Outstanding History Alumnus Award from Western Illinois University. She also was named the Top General Counsel in 2011 from First Chair, which was the first time the award was given. She sits on various policy councils as well as boards. She and her team have developed a robust internship program.  Ms. Paridy has lectured and written extensively on health care.

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Elliot Roth

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

Elliot Roth is a renowned expert in areas such as stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Roth has more than 25 years of varying experience and leadership at RIC and has served the role of chairman of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation since 1994.

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

Richard L. Lieber, PhD
Senior Vice President of Research and 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 leading RIC in dramatically transforming the paradigm of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Lieber is Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 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 doctorate 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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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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James Sliwa

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

James Sliwa, DO, is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Quality and Safety Officer at the Institute, 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 20 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 as well as the medical director of RIC's general rehabilitation program.

Dr. Sliwa earned his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his internship at Chicago Osteopathic Hospital.

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