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RIC Matters-2014-03-05

Quote of the Week

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

–W. Clement Stone



In Memory of Our Good Friend, Len

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of RIC’s first therapy dog, Len, who touched many lives and left an indelible mark here.

Len worked at RIC from 2003 to 2010. During that time, he was instrumental in positively affecting the lives of patients, staff and family members every day. 

Through social visits, therapy sessions, and even a research study, Len was always eager to come to work and took his job very seriously. His life was devoted to helping others feel better.

“Patients and staff continually asked about Len after he left,” said Jillian Beemer, Director of Therapeutic Recreation. “During all those years, Len worked closely with patients in group sessions and with individuals. Staff enjoyed the social visits and looked forward to his annual birthday bash!

Len was born in California on May 6, 2000. He trained in Kentucky and Ohio, and then moved to Chicago where he came to work for RIC. He was happy to retire in Houston, Texas, along with his caregiver, former RIC employee Caryl Anselmini. At his home in Texas, Len loved going to the dog park and playing at the beach.

 The Therapeutic Recreation Department is putting together a picture album for Len’s family, Caryl, Leo and Monet. If you would like to include a personal message or story, please send it to Jillian Beemer,


The Farmer’s Table Comes to RIC

With one of the coldest winters in Chicago history almost behind us, many of us are looking forward to spring’s arrival later this month. But did you know that March is also National Nutrition Month? This campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. This year’s theme is: “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

Come celebrate the first day of spring and National Nutrition Month by visiting a “Farmer’s Table” at the flagship on March 20. Midwest Produce, a family-owned produce supplier, will be featuring a mini farmer’s market featuring fresh, organic foods grown by American farmers.

Midwest Produce also will be bringing specialty items you can purchase, such as watermelon radishes and Okinawan purple sweet potatoes. You will have an opportunity to sample fresh fruits and vegetables, learn about different preparation techniques and speak to a nutritionist to discover more ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet.

The Farmer’s Table will be held March 20 outside the Sprout Café on the second floor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As we look forward to the warmer months ahead, more locally grown produce will be coming with an expanded farmer’s market hosted by the Sprout Café. Look for upcoming dates in RIC Matters. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” 


Ability Institute of RIC Construction Update

The first level of the concrete elevator core of The Ability Institute at RIC is now in place, marking a significant step forward as the new building grows upward.  In the coming weeks, the above ground core will continue to be the main focus of construction, including the erection of scaffolding  and the continued reinforcement of the formwork.

Concrete placement for the growing core and the first three floors of the building’s garage will also begin this week and will continue during the coming months. As a result, you will see an increase in concrete trucks delivering ready-mix to the site.

Typical construction work hours will continue to be from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (although some days work may extend to 8:00 p.m.), Monday through Saturday. You may notice some activities outside of these hours and days, including Sundays.


Employees Evaluate Lift and Gait Equipment at Vendor Fair

Employees had an opportunity to test and evaluate a variety of gait and lift equipment that will be under consideration for purchase as we anticipate our  move into The Ability Institute of RIC.

 The Ceiling Lifts and Gait Track Vendor Fair was held on February 25 in the Heyworth Rooms. Four vendors demonstrated how their patient lifts and gait rail systems work, and showed employees samples of slings, harnesses, crossbars and other accessories for use with patients.

Staff members were able to try out equipment and ask vendors questions. Employees were asked to evaluate the equipment and submit their findings. The selection of equipment is an important decision that will impact how care is delivered at the new facility, so we’re grateful to all of you who participated and provided input. 

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every year, 1.4 million people sustain a brain injury. The leading causes of traumatic brain injury include falls and motor vehicle accidents, and impact people of all ages. Throughout the month of March, the Brain Injury Program, along with the LIFE Center, will be highlighting events to educate and raise awareness about brain injury.

On March 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. come down to the 345 East Superior Street lobby to learn more about RIC and community resources related to brain injury. Our resource fair will include representation from the Brain Injury Association of Illinois, Synapse House, Access Living, RIC Research, Therapeutic Recreation, RIC Adapted Sports and Fitness Center, Vocational Rehabilitation and the LIFE Center.

On March 27 from 12 to 12:45 p.m., join us in the Heyworth rooms for a special performance by George Flores and Chris Medina. George Flores is an international harp technician and RIC alumni who sustained a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury in 2004.

Chicago singer Chris Medina brings another perspective. His fiancé was nearly killed in a car crash and suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2009. Since then, he’s been at her side as a care giver and supporter. Medina is best known for his performances on “American Idol.” Flores and Medina will speak about their personal stories related to brain injury, and perform a duet. Join us throughout the month of March to raise awareness about brain injury.

American Heart Association: Family & Friends Basic Life Saving Courses

The Prince Family Esprit! Program is pleased to offer, as part of the Mind component of the program, Family & Friends Basic Life Saving training through the American Heart Association. The Friends & Family course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult and child CPR, AED use, and relief from choking.  It is open to any RIC staff member who is interested in learning basic life saving principles. If your job requires CPR or BLS certification, this class will not meet those requirements.

The first Family & Friends Basic Life Saving session will be held at the flagship in Room 1659 on Wednesday, March 19 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Registration in advance is required. Registration for  Family & Friends Basic Life Saving Training is done through the Learning Management System (LMS), found on RIC Connect.

Click on the “Learning Management System” link.  Your LMS user name and password arefirst name. last name and welcome. Once you are logged into the LMS main page, click on Course Catalog > CPR/Medical Emergency Classes > Family & Friends.

For those who are unable to attend the training session listed above, please note that we are planning future courses on the following dates:

  • May 28, 12 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • August 6, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

If you have questions regarding Family & Friends training or registration, please contact Stephanie Adams at or 312-238-6291.

RIC Insider

Paralympic Television Coverage Begins Friday

NBC’s broadcast coverage of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi will begin on Friday, March 7, at 10 a.m. with the opening ceremonies and will continue throughout the games. For the first time ever, the Paralympic Games will be telecast in their entirety! Don’t forget to watch the USA Men’s Sled Hockey team, which includes our very own RIC Blackhawk players Andy Yohe, Kevin McKee and Brody Roybal.

You can visit the US Paralympic Team web site for more information about the broadcast schedule:

Parking Reminders

Ohio Lot Lease Expires March 15

For those of you who park in the Ohio lot, we want to remind you about an important change in parking arrangements. Since our lease at the Ohio lot will be expiring this month, parking will no longer be available there, beginning March 15. However, we are pleased to tell you that we have finalized arrangements for parking in the Northwestern University Erie Garage, the site adjacent to The Ability Institute of RIC construction. That lot will be available for use by all current Ohio lot parkers, with the exception of 3rd shift employees. For 3rd shift employees, we have secured parking spaces in the 680 Building across the street from 345 East Superior.

A member of our Security team will reach out to impacted employees to make arrangements for distributing new parking access cards. In the mean time, please feel free to contact Sharon Deramus, Manager, Security & Special Services, at extension 8-6211 with any questions.

Cars Parked on Huron Will be Ticketed

Please remember that cars parked on the north side of Huron across from the former Prentice Women’s Hospital  will be ticketed. Employees should be aware there is a “No Parking Tow Zone” sign posted on the steel fence due to demolition of the building. 

Plant Operations Service Requestor Process: A Reminder from Joe Rapisarda

Please keep in mind that Facilities and Plant Operations has upgraded the Plant OPS Service Requestor located on all RIC desktops. 

As we announced in December and launched in January, the Plant OPS Service Requestor is located under the yellow diamond icon on your desktop. Accessing and reporting a Service Call is easy. With its enhanced features, the upgraded Service Requestor will allow a service call to go directly to the Plant Operations service technician, bypassing the system administrator. This will allow all users to use the system 24/7, eliminating the need to page or to call the engineer on duty after hours or on weekends. And remember, if the request is a Facilities emergency, please page the engineer on duty at 312-249-2125.

Plant Operations and Maintenance management has heard your feedback through our Facilities Service call audits and has acted upon your suggestions on how to improve our service through the new Service Call Requestor. We appreciate your comments and hope you will continue to give us feedback through our service call audits that will continue to be attached to the Service Call Requestor acknowledgment email.

Use this link for a quick tutorial of the new Service Call Requestor system. I would appreciate any feedback you have on this upgraded system.

Thank you. 

Joe Rapisarda, General Manager of Support Services, Facilities & Support Services

RIC Matters Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit articles and announcements for RIC Matters is Monday at noon each week if you want it published in the following Wednesday’s newsletter. Please remember if your articles are time sensitive to submit them as early as possible to Thanks! 

Superior Street Sprout Café Menu

Please click here to access this week’s Superior Street Sprout Café menu.

Welcome New RIC Team Members

LaTrese Anderson – Patient Care Technician, RIC Pediatric Unit

Andres Cardona – Research Engineer, RIC Research, Sensory Motor Performance Program

Nicole Flounders – Physical Therapist, RIC Allied Health Flex Staff Core

Giovanna Fouche – Patient Care Technician, RIC Orthopedic Unit

Matthew Grissom – Registered Nurse, RIC Spinal Cord Injury Unit

Gordhan Mahtani – Research Engineer I, RIC Sensory Motor Performance Unit

Lashonda Mitchell – Patient Dining Assistant, RIC Food Service Unit

Rashidat Opere – Patient Care Technician, RIC Nursing Flex Staff

Elizabeth Robinson – Occupational Therapist, RIC Allied Health Flex Staff Core

Carlos Streeter – Contract Security Officer, RIC Security Officer

Evan Susanto – Contract Pre-Doctoral Fellow, RIC Research, Sensory Motor Performance Program

Marius 'T Hart – Post Doctoral Fellow, RIC Research, Sensory Motor Performance Program

Shalithe Waiters – Patient Care Technician, RIC Nursing Flex Staff Core

Sijun Zhu – Self-Funded Scholar, RIC Research, Sensory Motor Performance Program