RIC Matters 2014-09-17 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2014-09-17

Quote of the Week

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Winston Churchill

Back Issues

To find previous issues, go to our Index of RIC Matters back issues.


Patient Gets Surprise Invitation to Throw First Pitch at Cubs Game

Robert Montagano, an inpatient on the 6th floor, got a once in a lifetime opportunity recently when he was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game.

“Someone came to my room and asked if I wanted to do it and I said, ‘heck yeah,’” Montagano says. “It was a total surprise.”

Montagano, a truck driver who was injured this summer in an accident that resulted in the partial loss of both legs, was accompanied by his RIC physical therapist Bridget Fowler and his family at the September 8 game in which the Cubs played the Toronto Blue Jays.

He proudly represented RIC and demonstrated his progress from inpatient therapy by propelling his wheelchair out to the mound to get the game started.

“I rolled myself out there and I didn’t even notice the crowd, I was so wound up,” he recalls. “The ball didn’t make it all the way, but it did go right down the middle.”

He then took a moment to savor the experience. “The crowd cheered and my hair was standing up on end,” he says.

Montagano, who turns 50 on September 27, was joined at the game by his wife, Karen, sons Vinnie and Joe and daughter Rachel. They got to sit behind home plate during the game. “I was like, ‘wow, how cool is this?’” Montagano says.

The Cubs organization and Vienna Beef made this opportunity available to Montagano as part of their generous, longstanding relationship with RIC. Cubs Charities also is a consistent supporter of the RIC Adaptive Sports Program, which is integrated into our inpatient programs through the sports days as well as many programs after discharge.

“It was a total shocker when they asked me,” Montagano says. “It was amazing.”

Supporters Gather to Celebrate Final Dolan Golf Challenge

Nearly 100 guests last week gathered to celebrate the final John Dolan Golf Challenge (JDGC), which has generated $2.5 million for RIC’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program and Caring for Kids during the last 20 years.

Ryan Chiaverini, co-host of the television program Windy City Live, emceed the final 19th Hole Celebration for the JDGC at the Racquet Club of Chicago. The event concluded with a heartfelt thank you from the Dolan family. They announced proceeds from the 19th Hole Celebration in honor of the final Dolan event would benefit the Pediatric Rehabilitation Innovation Center in RIC’s new Research Hospital.

Governing Board Member and Foundation Board Co-Chair, Danny Dolan, Jr. created the John Morgan Dolan Golf Challenge in 1995 with his family to honor and celebrate the memory of his son, John, who sustained a spinal cord injury at birth, which left him paralyzed from the chin down. He received care from RIC’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program for two and a half years before his death.

The John Dolan Golf Challenge was a unique event that shined a spotlight on Ability at every age and every level through the game of golf. Each year, “fivesomes” comprised of family and friends of the Dolan’s and a “Pro” Golfer (a golfer living with a physical condition that limits mobility) competed at the Merit Club in Libertyville, Illinois. The JDGC also featured the Kids’ Adapted Golf Clinic for Caring for Kids participants. The Clinic included a three-hole course and a presentation by trick shot artist and former PGA Tour player, Peter Longo.

For more information on the history of the John Dolan Golf Challenge, please contact the Advancement Department at 312-238-6013 or Advancement@RIC.org.

Celebration for Georgia, RIC’s Therapy Dog


More than 100 people gathered last week to wish a Happy Birthday to Georgia, RIC’s therapy dog, who turned 8 years old and also celebrated her fifth anniversary with the Institute. Friends gave Georgia toys, treats and a birthday “pupcake.” 

“Healing Art” Exhibit Opens, Continues Through December 12

The opening night of the "Healing Art" exhibition, which showcases artwork by RIC patients, was a great success, organizers said.

The Sept. 4 event was attended by patients, family members, friends and students and staff from Adler School of Professional Psychology. The exhibition celebrates therapeutic and healing aspects of art making.

The artwork is on display at 17 N. Dearborn, 15th floor, until Dec. 12. To view the exhibit, please call 312-662-4001 to arrange a visit.

Prentice Demolition Update, Traffic Alert

As the demolition of the old Prentice Women’s Hospital wraps up, employees should note that workers will begin dismantling and removing the west side canopy this week.

The busiest time will be on Saturday when trucks, forklifts and a crane will be driving on and off the West Plaza nearly all day, affecting pedestrian traffic on the southern edge of Superior Street and the northern edge of Huron Street near our building.

Ambulance traffic will likely be diverted to the East Drive for a few hours. But all staff, patients and guests should be aware of the activity as they approach or depart along Huron or Superior Streets.

There will be similar interruptions on the following Monday, but for a much shorter duration as the workers clean up.

Voter Registration in RIC Lobby on September 25

Equip for Equality will conduct a voter registration drive in the lobby of the flagship building on Thursday, September 25, for those who need to register to vote for the first time or are required to change their address because they moved.

Equip for Equality will conduct the registration between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please bring two forms of identification, including one that matches your voting address. For more information, contact the LIFE Center at 312-238-5433.

Magnuson Finalists Announced

Please join us in congratulating the following employees who were selected as finalists for the Magnuson Awards.

The Founder’s Award Finalists for 2014 

  • Kelly Breen
  • Kate DeMarco
  • Ed Hitchcock
  • Sara Hobbs
  • Sandra Hughes
  • Lauren Spehr
  • Ellen Jo Suerth
  • Dinh To 

The RIC Management Award Finalists  for 2014 

  • Elizabeth Hills
  • Glenn Paustian
  • Jennifer Schmidt 

The winners will be announced at the Magnuson Celebration Family Picnic on Saturday, September 27.  Good luck, Finalists!

Webinar to Address Accessible Outcomes Measurement for People with Disabilities

What: "Measure-ABLE: Enhancing accessible outcomes measurement for people with disabilities" - a webinar sponsored by the Center for Rehabilitation Outcome Research (CROR) supported by a grant from the Department of Education, NIDRR grant number H133B090024 (PI: Allen Heinemann, PhD). 

When: September 29, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Description: There is increasing emphasis in disability and rehabilitation research and practice on the use of outcomes measures to promote clinical decision making, evaluate treatment effectiveness, and determine service allocation.  Design features of many standardized outcome assessments pose barriers for users with disabilities and can compromise the validity and interpretability of the derived scores. During this webinar, we will discuss the importance of accessible measures and describe an approach to evaluate and enhance the development of accessible outcome measures. We will draw from our experience in three large scale instrument development projects. 

Objectives: At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to: 

  1. Describe how factors at the human-computer interaction create barriers to outcomes assessment for people with disabilities.
  2. Discuss how inaccessible measurement compromises the validity, reliability and interpretability of outcome measures.
  3. Identify strategies evaluate and enhance accessibility of outcome measurement systems.

Cost: Free (First come, first served)

To Register: (this link takes you to SurveyMonkey) https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8D5SKML

About our Speakers: Susan Magasi, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Her research emphasis is on healthcare access and equity for people with disabilities, including access to measurement technologies and assessment systems. Mark Harniss, PhD, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. His research focuses on the design, development, usability, and effectiveness of instructional and assistive technologies, knowledge translation and implementation science and accessible measurement. Both have served as a co-investigators and co-chairs of the Accessibility Committees for several major NIH-funded instrument development initiatives including the NIH Toolbox Assessment for Neurological and Behavioral Function and the National Children’s Study. 

RIC Insider


Still Time to Register for SkyRise Chicago, Training Starts Monday

New to RIC?  Never participated in SkyRise Chicago? SkyRise Chicago Wants You! Heidi Aschbacher, Administrative Coordinator for SkyRise Chicago, is putting together a team of first time climbers. If you are interested in joining this team please email Heidi at haschbac02@ric.org

For those of you who already have signed up or are planning to sign up, join us to train for SkyRise Chicago 2014.

Stair climb training will be on Mondays from 5:00 p.m. to 5: 45 p.m. beginning Monday, September 22, with a final session on Monday, October 27. Meet in the flagship hospital lobby and climb in the stairwells with your RIC colleagues and a representative from the RIC Fitness Center. It’s fun and will help you prepare.

For information about stair workouts, contact Maggie Morrissy at mmorrissy@ric.org or (312) 238-5001.

Hand cycle train with the RIC Hand Cycling Team and other athletes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the  RIC Fitness Center at 541 North Fairbanks starting September 23, with a final session on October 30. Interested parties should contact Derek Daniels at ddaniels@ric.org or (312) 238-5001.

No matter which method you’re training for, all levels are welcome! There’s no need to register in advance. Join at any time, and participate whenever you can.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month Events Coming Monday!

In recognition of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, the LIFE Center will host an information booth and present two inspiring guest speakers who will share their stories about life after sustaining spinal cord injuries.

The event will take place on September 22 and begins with an information fair in the lobby of the flagship from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. in the Heyworth Rooms, there will be guided meditation with Chaplain Beth Reece and Ruth Kamen on harp. In addition, former RIC patients Mark Stephan and Jim Mullen will present their stories about life after their spinal cord injuries and take questions from the audience.

The LIFE Center has prepared a list of resources about spinal cord injury, which you can access by clicking here.

Rehabilitation Measures Database (RMD) at RIC Getting Facelift

Over the past three years, the RMD has grown beyond expectations. Every month more than 80,000 users from around the globe access the RMD. The response has been tremendous, but it also means we’ve outgrown our current home!

Over the next several months, we will be working with our developers to design a new database with many new and enhanced features. As part of this process, we are asking users to tell us how they are using the RMD and how we can make the site better.

Please take 10 minutes to make your voice heard! You can access the survey here.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to launching a new RMD in the months to come.

Call for Submissions for 2015 HBB Competition – Deadline September 30

It’s time again for the annual Henry B. Betts, MD, Innovation Award Competition. We are changing the format to create a special challenge with a focus on our new Ability Institute. The challenge this year is to create a unique “after hours” space for patients and families. All employees are invited to submit ideas.

For a full description of the competition rules, please click here. Ideas should be submitted to Liana Davila (ldavila@ric.org) or to your manager. Submission forms can be found on RIC Connect.  Ideas will be accepted through September 30.

Questions about available spaces listed above can be directed to your manager, department Vice President, Laura Ferrio or Barry Fleischer.

TB Testing Notification

Annual TB screenings for staff working at the flagship hospital and Onterie  are being conducted throughout September. The Joint Commission, CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health require annual TB screenings for all RIC staff, contractors and volunteers.  Screenings consist of either the TB skin test or completion of a questionnaire when the skin test is contraindicated.

TB testing is  available in the Employee Occupational Health Services clinic, located in room 1616.

Testing Hours: Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays Thursdays (readings only) and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Limited department-based, evening, night and weekend testing is available. You can access the full detailed schedule with this link.

RIC Matters Submission Deadline

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

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