RIC Matters 2014-10-01 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2014-10-01

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.


Employees, Families Enjoy Magnuson Celebration Picnic

RIC employees and their families gathered on a picture perfect Saturday afternoon to enjoy the Magnuson Celebration Family Picnic and Magnuson Awards.

Under sunny skies and temperatures hovering near 80 degrees, employees and their families enjoyed a catered lunch and participated in a variety of activities with colleagues, including water balloon tossing, Hula Hoops, volleyball, softball, baggos and more at the University of Illinois at Chicago Picnic Grounds.

Windy City Field House, which facilitated the event, provided a number of games and activities for the children such as face painting, Frisbees, balls, water balloons and an inflatable slide. As part of the fun, a DJ got things rolling in the main tent with some dancing that included a spirited version of “YMCA.” There was also a musical chairs contest.

While the Magnuson Awards Celebration traditionally has been a more formal evening event, several employees commented that they enjoyed the outdoor venue and more casual approach, which allowed people to have fun and mingle with their colleagues.

One employee commented, “I thought the event was great. I like the idea of having a casual event, and being able to bring family made it even better.”

Said another, “The best part of these events is an opportunity for employees to get together and celebrate and enjoy each others’ company.”

Service anniversary recipients were honored with the first time ever "Wall of Fame" where their photos and quotes lined the walkway to the event.

For more photos from the event, click the arrows below.









Magnuson Award Winners Announced

As part of the celebration on Saturday, President and CEO Dr. Joanne Smith announced the winners of this year’s Magnuson Awards and took a moment to recognize and congratulate RIC employees for their service, ranging from 5 to 40 years.

Dr. Smith dedicated this year’s event to David Magnuson, grandson of RIC founder Dr. Paul Magnuson. Sadly, David passed away recently and Dr. Smith remembered his contributions to RIC, stating his presence will be deeply missed.

The winner of the 2014 Magnuson Management Award was Elizabeth Hills, Executive Director, Revenue Cycle. Hills’ colleagues described her as a “truly special leader, who is an RIC role model for recognizing employees.”

Other colleagues said, “Her leadership is based on respect, caring and professionalism, always focusing on cooperative teamwork and providing excellent customer service to our patients.”

Hills instituted a ‘shout out process’ to recognize the exceptional performance of her team members.

Dr. Smith was joined by members of the Magnuson family to announce the Magnuson Founder’s Award, which was presented to Ellen Jo Suerth, 9th Floor Nursing.

Several colleagues nominated Suerth, including RIC’s therapy dog, Georgia, who reportedly said, “Ellen Jo is fully dedicated to her responsibilities; when working with patients throughout the day she demonstrates hope, compassion and commitment to excellence.”

As a clinical instructor, Suerth was recognized for being “thorough, thoughtful and dynamic. She is constantly caring. She shows exemplary leadership and lives out the nursing profession in all aspects of her life.”

In addition, five employees were honored with the Strategic Alliance Award. They were:

  • RIC at Silver Cross Hospital - Jaime Holzhauser
  • RIC at Franciscan Alliance – Debra Gitersonke
  • RIC at Alexian Brothers – Linda Covone
  • RIC at Southern Illinois Healthcare - Tracy Dalton
  • RIC at Advocate Illinois Masonic - April Odom 

Employee Arts & Crafts Show Coming Soon

Employees will get a chance to showcase their talents next month when RIC hosts an arts & crafts show in the lobby of the flagship building.

“You’ll see a variety of crafts from our employees,” says Patricia Graham, who is organizing this year’s event, and also will be selling her own beautiful flower arrangements.

About ten employees participated last year, many of whom will be returning. Graham said the unique handmade crafts will include jewelry, candles, baskets and paintings.

Proceeds from sales will benefit RIC’s free care program.

Event Details:

When: Friday, November 7, 2014

Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: 345 E. Superior St., first floor lobby

Contact Patricia Graham for further details at pgraham@ric.org

Aphasia Book Club Featured in Chicago Tribune

The Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment offers a variety of specialized classes to people with aphasia who are living in the community. One of these classes, the Aphasia Book Club, was featured in the Chicago Tribune this past weekend. To view the article, click here.

On any given Thursday, 20 to 30 people with aphasia can be found attending the book club, discussing the latest in politics or sports in the general conversation groups, or singing popular songs in the aphasia choir.

Class offerings change every semester. The focus is to provide the person with aphasia opportunities to converse about different topics and themes in a positive communication environment. The classes are facilitated by speech and language pathologists and volunteers who have been trained in using supported conversation techniques.

Topics of semester-long classes have included “Money, money, money,” “A ticket to Chicago Museums,” “A day at the movies,” “A decade in depth: The sixties,” “Travel club” and “Poetry for everyone” to name a few. For the current aphasia class schedule, please visit http://www.ric.org/research/centers/aphasia/classes/

For further information, please call Rachel Hitch at extension 8-6163 or Leora Cherney at 8-1117.

Associate Board and Therapeutic Recreation Celebrate Fall

On Sunday, October 5, the RIC Associate Board and Therapeutic Recreation Department are partnering to host the Harvest Party. This special event provides a time for patients and their families to unwind and enjoy harvest-themed activities.

Attendees will enjoy pumpkin decorating, face painting and delicious refreshments. All patients and families are welcome to join in on the fun from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Heyworth Rooms.

For more information, please contact Therapeutic Recreation at extension 8-6168.

SkyRise Chicago Prize: See Justin Timberlake in Nashville!

As if helping the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America create new possibilities and revolutionize patient outcomes wasn’t enough, we’ve sweetened the deal. The top individual fundraiser will win an amazing prize for the first time in SkyRise Chicago history: A trip to see Justin Timberlake in Nashville!

Not a climber or hand cyclist? Not to worry! You can raise money by becoming a virtual climber.

Get started right away at SkyRiseChicago.org!  Heidi Aschbacher, Administrative Coordinator for SkyRise Chicago, is putting together a team of first time climbers. If you are interested in joining this team, named “The First Climb’s the Charm,” please email Heidi at haschbac02@ric.org

For those of you who already have signed up or are planning to sign up, don’t forget you can join us to train for SkyRise Chicago 2014. For information about stair workouts, contact Maggie Morrissy at mmorrissy@ric.org or (312) 238-5001. To learn about hand cycling workouts, contact Derek Daniels at ddaniels@ric.org or (312) 238-5001.

The individual participant who raises the most money through confirmed donations received by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for SkyRise Chicago 2014 by 11:59pm on Friday, November 21, 2014 will be awarded a Justin Timberlake Concert Experience.  In the event of a tie, a random drawing will take place and a winner determined.  A maximum of one (1) winner will receive: a Justin Timberlake Concert Getaway, which includes round trip airfare for two from Chicago, overnight accommodations at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville, TN, and tickets to the December 19, 2014 Justin Timberlake concert at the Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN. The approximate retail value of this prize is $1,288. Prizes will be sent via First Class USPS. This prize cannot be transferred or resold. All other General Contest Rules apply. Winner will be notified the week of November 24, 2014.

RIC Board Members, RIC Vice Presidents and up, RIC SkyRise Core Team Members, and RIC Advancement Team Members are not eligible.

Flu Shots Will be Here Soon

As the hectic summer months come to a close and kids are back to school, you are finally able to take a deep breath and relax….not yet!

You still need to plan and prepare for a healthy fall and winter season. The best and most effective way to stay healthy is to get a flu shot!

The Joint Commission and CDC are mandating that all healthcare professionals be vaccinated against seasonal influenza this fall. In order to comply with the Joint Commission and CDC guidelines, RIC has made flu shots mandatory for all clinical staff. Clinical staff is defined as all those who work in patient care areas: inpatient, outpatient and DayRehab. The only exemptions for clinical staff are medical and religious.  Anyone who receives their flu vaccination at a facility other than RIC must provide documentation to Employee Health that it has been received.

Flu shots are free to all RIC employees, contractors and volunteers and will be available in EOHS throughout the flu season October – March. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our preordered shipment of influenza vaccine from our distributor and will let you know the exact date when vaccination will begin.

Please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to help keep yourself and our patients healthy. Remember:

  • Get vaccinated against influenza
  • Be respectful of your coworkers
  • Stay home if you are sick. You will recover faster if you take action at the onset of symptoms
  • Cold and flu viruses can spread quickly and drastically impact your department’s productivity and staffing

Also, it’s the last call for annual mandatory TB testing. Please contact Kim Dellutri, Employee Health Nurse, at kdellutri@ric.org or extension 8-6296. Thank you.

RIC Insider


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 ten 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.

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!

Superior Street Sprout Café Menu

Please click here to access the Superior Street Sprout Café menu.

Join Weight Watchers

Did you know that people who use Weight Watchers lose eight times more weight than those who try to lose weight on their own? Through the Weight Watchers program at RIC, your colleagues have lost a total of nearly 3,000 pounds! In addition, eight participants have met their lifetime weight loss goal.

Through the Prince Family Esprit! Program, RIC is offering employees the opportunity to participate in Weight Watchers programs. Learn more about how you can participate in Weight Watchers through RIC at the two upcoming open houses at 345 East Superior.

  • Tuesday, November 4, from 11:30 a.m. to noon in room 1654
  • Tuesday, November 11, from 11:30 a.m. to noon in the Magnuson Auditorium, 16th Floor

Remember, there are three ways to participate:

  • Employees can attend Weight Watchers meetings at the flagship hospital
  • Employees can attend Weight Watchers meetings at a local community Weight Watchers location
  • Employees can participate in Weight Watchers online

For the Weight Watchers at Work Program, the total cost of the 17-week Weight Watchers at Work Program is $186. RIC will subsidize 50% of the cost up front for in-person meetings and convenient payroll deductions are available for the remaining amount of $93. Cash, credit card or checks are also acceptable forms of payment for the employee portion of $93 due at the Weight Watchers Open House. Payroll deduction forms will be available at all Weight Watchers Open Houses.

Upon successful completion of the program (80% or more weekly meeting attendance), the employee cost of $93 will be refunded to you via payroll. If you do not attend at least 80% of the weekly meetings, you will not be eligible for reimbursement of the $93. 

Reimbursement for attendance at a community site or online will be done via payroll as well. To learn more about how to be reimbursed for these options, please contact Stephanie Adams using the information listed below.

If you have any questions about participation in the Weight Watchers program, please contact Stephanie Adams at sadams@ric.org or 312-238-6291.