RIC Matters 2014-10-22 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2014-10-22

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.


Pediatric Patients Share Stories During “Discovery Moment” Event

More than 100 guests listened to stories of challenge and triumph from pediatric patients and got an overview of RIC’s pediatrics programs during a special event at the Arts Club of Chicago.

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Innovation Center Committee hosted a “Discovery Moment” on October 8, featuring a cocktail reception and presentation titled, “Hope. Courage. Ability.”

Dr. Charles Sisung, Medical Director, Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Program, kicked off the evening with an overview of the RIC Pediatric Rehabilitation Program and the history of pediatric rehabilitation in the U.S.

Dr. Sisung and Dr. Gadi Revivo, Assistant Medical Director, Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Program, introduced four patients, ranging in age from 7 to 19, who shared their stories and the ways in which RIC staff instilled hope, courage and ability in their lives.

Claudia, 19, began her journey at RIC in 2006 after undergoing emergency brain surgery. Claudia’s cerebellum had herniated into her brainstem, leaving her unable to move or breathe on her own. After several years of treatment at RIC during which she relearned basic motor skills, Claudia now has regained enough fine motor control to walk better and balance on her own. She also can do many of the day-to-day activities a 19-year-old pursues, such as use her cell phone.

“For me, my RIC team has just been there, anchoring my recovery, taking the journey with me and my family, giving me hope, helping us think through better ways to progress and always helping us seek improvement,” she said.

Born prematurely and diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Zain, 14, uses a wheelchair for mobility. He has undergone four major surgeries, spending several weeks at RIC following each one. Dr. Sisung described Zain as “always goal driven,” performing well in his studies at North High School in Downers Grove and enjoying early success as a sports broadcaster there. Zain is confident that Dr. Sisung and RIC will help him reach his major goals.

“Success means different things to different people. I hope to be able to transfer independently from my wheelchair to a chair or bed,” Zain said. “This may not seem like a difficult goal, but for me this would be a major accomplishment.”

Jessica, 19, suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car accident at the age of 15. She was given a 30 percent chance of survival following her accident, and was referred to a nursing home for future care. A physician at the local hospital recommended RIC, and her parents transferred her here the next morning. Jessica now attends junior college near her home of Streator, Ill., and, after a great deal of encouragement from Dr. Sisung, she just received her driver’s license.

“RIC helped me gain back my life, something that was not promised just a few weeks before my time at RIC,” she said.

The final speaker of the evening was Bryn, who is 7 years old. Born with Spina Bifida, Bryn has minimal muscle strength and no feeling from the waist down. Following the latest of the eight surgeries she has undergone, she was admitted to RIC for three weeks of extensive physical therapy.

Bryn told the audience that during her stay at RIC, if it appeared that “someone’s heart was broken,” she would go up to them and “ask them if they wanted to be friends. Then we would play together and see each other every day.”

Discovery Moments for each Innovation Center are coordinated by RIC’s Advancement Department and the respective Innovation Center committee. Each Discovery Moment invites RIC donors, volunteers, former patients and staff to learn more about the unique work and service done by the talented professionals here, while raising awareness and emphasizing the importance of philanthropic support for various initiatives, including the Advance Human Ability Campaign.

For more information, contact the Advancement Department at Advancement@RIC.org or 312-238-6013.

Dr. Joanne Smith Showcases Hockey Skills at Chicago Blackhawks Opener

RIC President and CEO Dr. Joanne Smith helped kick off the Chicago Blackhawks season by landing a shot from mid-ice into a small target at the goal, earning a high-five from former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon.

Dr. Smith, sporting a special RIC Blackhawks jersey, aced out McMahon, who was unable to make the shot in three attempts. Dr. Smith’s second shot landed dead center in a small target hole.

The Wirtz family, longtime supporters of RIC, invited Dr. Smith to participate in the shootout. Thanks to the Blackhawks for their continued support of RIC.

Two Fabulous Chicago Sporting Event Raffle Prizes Offered for SkyRise Chicago Employee Participants

The top 25 employee fundraisers as of Saturday, October 25 at 5:00 p.m., will be entered in a raffle to win four coveted tickets to a Chicago Blackhawks game on Sunday, November 2, when the team takes on the Winnipeg Jets. What a great way to celebrate your SkyRise Chicago climb and your fundraising prowess!

The game begins at 8:00 p.m. and the seats are located in Section 114, Row 3. Thank you to Beth and Kevin Olson for this very generous donation

The top 10 employee fund-raisers as of Sunday, November 2 at 11:59 p.m., will be entered in a raffle to win four tickets to a Chicago Bulls game on Saturday, November 8.

The game begins at 7:00 p.m. and the seats are located in Section 102, Row 11. The winner also will receive a parking pass.

Congratulations to Catherine Lutsey, Physical Therapist at SSRC, who won the fabulous Blackhawks memorabilia prize last week.

SkyRise Chicago is sold out for climber participants, but there are still slots available for hand cycle and virtual climber participants.  Please visit the SkyRise Chicago web site and learn how to sign up for our waitlist, or to register as a virtual climber or hand cyclist. 

CROR to Host Brown Bag Seminars on Patient Care, Safety

Many researchers work in a clinical setting, but do not have clinical training. The Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research at RIC is pleased to announce a short series of brown bag seminars to address patient safety and care when participating in research studies.

The center will offer a “Working with Individuals with a Disability” brown bag seminar on Thursday, November 13, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Magnuson Auditorium. Ginger Lane, from Access Living, will focus on awareness and etiquette when working with people with disabilities, and on understanding “people first” language.

If interested in attending, please contact Arielle Goldsmith at Agoldsmith@ric.org.

Caring for Kids Visits Pumpkin Farm

The Caring for Kids program at RIC took a trip out to Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm in Homer Glen, Ill., for their Columbus Day event. 

About 20 youngsters got to travel around the farm on a tractor-pulled hayrack ride. They also fed the animals in the petting zoo and toured a haunted house.

“The kids had a blast,” says Ashley Gruenwald, Caring for Kids Program Specialist.

 The children also watched several pig races and selected the winning pig.  The day was filled with fall themed food, rides and many more activities.

One of the attractions to the farm is its accessibility for the children, Gruenwald says. The hayrack ride, for example, has a lift for wheelchairs and much of the area is paved.

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












Flu Shot Update

We anticipate that the seasonal flu vaccine will be available for staff at RIC in November. We will let you know as soon as flu shots are available. We apologize that the shipment has been delayed, an issue that unfortunately is beyond our control. If you receive your flu shot outside of RIC, please bring a copy of the vaccination record to Employee Health. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kim Dellutri, Employee Health Nurse, at ext. 8-6296. 

October is National Physical Therapy Month

October is designated as National Physical Therapy Month, which was created to recognize how physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can help transform society by restoring and improving motion in people’s lives.

Here at RIC, the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are celebrating with some individual site and unit events, and with the following organization-wide events:

The Movement Challenge. It’s back! For the sixth year in a row, units and sites are competing to see which team can get the most physical activity during the month of October.  Extra points go to SkyRise Chicago participants!

Trivia and Social Event. Physical Therapy staff will gather at Rock Bottom Brewery on October 22 for an evening of food, trivia and fun with their colleagues.

CE Course: Managing the Psychological Aspects of Pain in Physical Therapy. On October 30, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from our wholly owned sites and our alliances will participate in an evening course.

Thanks to all RIC physical therapists and physical therapist assistants for all that you do on a daily basis and thanks to the PT Practice Council for planning NPTM events.

U.S. Paralympics Event to Identify Potential Athletes

RIC, in collaboration with the United States Olympic Committee, World Sport Chicago and the Chicago Park District, is hosting a one day event to identify athletes who have a Paralympic-eligible physical disability as Team USA hopefuls for the Paralympics. The event will take athletes through a variety of fitness tests specific to cycling, track & field and power lifting, and will also include a track & field clinic. A USA Paralympic Team athlete and other United States Olympic Committee staff will be present at the event. Please see attached flyer for more information.

Date: Friday, October 24.

Location: Quest Multisport, 2641 W. Harrison St., Chicago, 60612. Quest has free parking available.

Time: 4:30 p.m. (athlete check-in) to 8:00 p.m.

Registration: Pre-registration is requested. To register for this free event, please visit: https://paralympics.fusesport.com/registration/211/Website/

Therapeutic Recreation Staff Take Patients Fishing

A group of RIC patients recently took advantage of some great fall fishing on Chicago’s lakefront with members of the Therapeutic Recreation staff.

Staff members Michael Wehner and Shanna King, along with intern Eric Mitchell, brought four patients to Olive Park, which offers an accessible fishing spot near Navy Pier.

During the outing, staff members showed our patients techniques to help them adapt to fishing with limited mobility. The goal was to allow the patients to continue to be involved in an activity they love. “It’s part of the patients’ therapy,” Wehner says. “It’s also to help them to learn to fish once they leave the hospital.”

This time of year is particularly great for catching rainbow trout, Wehner says. Adaptive fishing is regularly offered by the Therapeutic Recreation staff nine months of the year, usually on Friday afternoons. Patients reeled in several trout during the last few outings. They always release the fish after catching them.

Wehner says he expects to continue through the end of November, despite the chilly weather. “It’s a pretty hardy group,” he says. “They like to come out there.”

Volunteers Needed for RIC Adaptive Sports Program

The RIC Adaptive Sports Program is in need of volunteers for a variety of one-time and ongoing sports programs. Interested individuals, please reply to: Jason Stubbeman at jstubbeman@ric.org or 312-238-5010 (x85010)

One-Time Events

Gateway to Gold: 25 volunteers needed to assist with fitness testing stations for athletes trying to meet Paralympic standards.

Date: Friday, October 24

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Location: Quest Multisport, 2641 W. Harrison St., Chicago, 60612

*FREE Parking in surface lot

*RIC Employees, friends, family, community members welcome to volunteer

Chicagoland Regional Boccia Invitational: 26 volunteers needed to assist with timing, scoring, food and miscellaneous tasks.

Date: Saturday, November 15

Time: 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Northeastern Illinois University, Physical Education Complex, 3600 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, 60625

*FREE parking pass provided for volunteers

*Lunch provided

*RIC Employees, friends, family, community members welcome to volunteer

Ongoing Programs

Archery Team Support Assistant: One RIC employee needed to assist archery team at periodic practices and tournaments throughout the season.

Duties: Assist with scoring, equipment setup/takedown, attendance, miscellaneous assistance (will train).

Dates, Time, Location: To Be Scheduled (evening), and will be scheduled in advance based on your availability.

*Team Support Assistant must be an RIC Employee (any site)

Boccia Team Support Assistant: One RIC employee needed to assist boccia team at periodic practices and tournaments throughout the season.

Duties: Assist with equipment setup/takedown, attendance, ball retrieval, sport assistant as needed (will train).

Dates, Time, Location: To Be Scheduled (evening) – will be scheduled in advance based on your availability.

*Team Support Assistant must be an RIC Employee (any site)

Boccia Referee (No Experience Needed – Will Train): 8-10 volunteers needed to assist as boccia referees at three to six tournaments throughout the season.

Duties: Officiate boccia matches during one day local tournaments spaced throughout the season. No experience is necessary, and we will provide all needed training. This is not like being a basketball referee. Boccia is a much slower-paced and easy going sport (i.e. friendly to referees).

Dates & Locations:

Saturday, November 15 @ Northeastern Illinois University, 3600 W. Foster Ave., Chicago

Saturday, December 6 @ Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago

Saturday, January 10 @ Prairie Stone Sports and Wellness Center, 5050 Sedge Blvd., Hoffman Estates (transportation potentially available from RIC)

Saturday, February (TBD) @ Park District of La Grange, 536 East Ave. La Grange (transportation potentially available from RIC)

Saturday, April (TBD) @ Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie, Chicago

TBD Scrimmage Matches in April and/or May TBD

Time: Tourneys are typically scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., but TBD until final information is out for each.

*RIC Employees, friends, family, community members welcome to volunteer

*Lunch provided 

New Treadmills Arrive

The 6th floor General Rehabilitation Unit is continuing to prepare for the vision of the new hospital by installing a second Woodway Treadmill in the 6th floor gym.

New treadmills were also installed on the 4th and 8th floors.

Intensive walking programs are being implemented on a daily basis to increase ability with our patients throughout the inpatient units.

Therapists are working alongside rehab aides to implement the intensive walking programs.

Sprout Café to Feature Oktoberfest Menu Outside

The Sprout Café will bring out the grill once again to cook up a special Oktoberfest menu on October 30.

Among the German-inspired foods will be grilled bratwurst, pork chop sandwich, corned beef brisket, cheese pirogue, sauerkraut with applesauce and onions and German potato salad. There also will be sweet potato pie and fresh dipped caramel apples.

The grill will be located on the north side of the flagship building. As with previous outdoor grilling events, please pay for your items at Peet’s coffee bar in the lobby, and bring your receipt to the grill to get your food.

In the event of inclement weather, the Oktoberfest menu items will be available in the Sprout Café on the second floor.

In addition, the Cafe has begun offering afternoon snacks from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This Thursday and Friday features Texas chili.

RIC Insider


RIC Wheelchair Basketball Teams to Compete in Tournament October 25; Event Also to Feature $1,000 Raffle Prize

Come out and support the RIC Wheelchair Basketball Program when its teams play in the annual “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament on October 25. You’ll also have a chance to win $1,000 in a raffle.

During the daylong tournament, the RIC Hornets, RIC Skyhawks and RIC Sky teams will compete. The Sky is the RIC women’s basketball team.

The tournament will be held at The Joy of the Game basketball facility, 158 South Waukegan Road, Deerfield. For a complete schedule, please click here.

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.

Family & Friends Basic Life Saving Training on November 6

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 Family & Friends 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 Family & Friends Basic Life Saving session will be held at the flagship in Room 1659 on Thursday, November 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Registration in advance is required, using the Learning Management System (LMS), found on RIC Connect. Click on the “Learning Management System” link.  Your LMS user name and password are first name.last name and welcome. Once you are logged in to the LMS main page, click on Course Catalog > CPR/Medical Emergency Classes > Family & Friends.

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

Join Weight Watchers

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

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

Welcome New RIC Team Members

Elaina Dixon – Occupational Therapist, Northshore DayRehab

Marni Garfinkel – Speech & Language Pathologist, Flex Staff

Marissa Koushel – Rehabilitation Technician, Pediatrics

Ashley McMinn – Administrative Coordinator, Dr. Dias/Hospital Clinics

Anna Norweg – Clinical Research Scientist, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research

Audrey Phillips – Occupational Therapist, General Rehabilitation Unit

Samantha Sanders – Speech & Language Pathologist, Wheeling DayRehab

Kelsie Simpson – HR and Benefits Analyst

Margaret Smego – Physical Therapist, Willowbrook DayRehab

Elizabeth Suffredin – Major Gifts Officer, Advancement

Danielle Walker – Registry Occupational Therapist, Flex Staff

Christina Waters – Administrative Coordinator, Flex Staff