RIC Matters 2014-10-29 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2014-10-29

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.


RIC Hornets Kick off Season with Big Tournament Win

The RIC Hornets Wheelchair Basketball Team kicked off the season with a big win this past weekend, taking first place in the annual “Hoops 4 Hope” tournament in north suburban Deerfield.

The Hornets won all three of their games, thanks largely to the team’s outstanding defense throughout the tournament.  Waukesha Thunder placed second and the Chicago Wheelchair Bulls placed third at the tournament, played at the Joy of the Game sports facility.

The Chicago Skyhawks, RIC’s new Division 3 team, showed a valiant effort on the court, but was unable to nab a win during their debut. “The hard play by the athletes showed great improvement in each of the games,” says coach Trent Thenhaus, RIC Adaptive Sports Coordinator, Wirtz Sports and Fitness Center. “We are looking forward to a great season.”

The RIC Wheelchair Basketball Program is made up of disabled athletes from around the Chicago area, and includes many current and former RIC patients. “We’re always recruiting,” Thenhaus says. “We’re trying to build a community network and increase interest in what we do.”

RIC’s wheelchair basketball teams participate in tournaments and competitions throughout the Midwest, as well as in regional tournaments around the country, with the ultimate goal of qualification to the National Wheelchair Basketball Championships. All athletes must be registered with the RIC Adapted Sports and Fitness Program to participate.

The games are mostly attended by friends and family, though Thenhaus is always hoping to boost attendance. “I know a lot of people are busy, but they don’t realize how exciting the games can be,” he says. “The skills of the players at the highest level are amazing. It’s incredible to watch them play.”

The Chicago Skyhawks Junior wheelchair basketball teams are also fun to watch. “It’s inspiring to watch the kids,” Thenhaus says. “Most people don’t realize that kids who play wheelchair basketball can go to college. Full scholarships are available for wheelchair basketball.”

The traveling teams depend on donations and grants to cover the cost of transportation, lodging and equipment. “We spend about $30,000 a season and we’re always trying to find more support,” Thenhaus says.

Player Donates Photography Services to Team

Rob Gregory is not only a member of the RIC Hornets Wheelchair Basketball team, but he’s also a skilled photographer who has donated his services to capture some amazing images of the team.

Gregory, who works as an art director for an advertising firm, has always enjoyed photography. He began playing wheelchair basketball about three years ago after losing a leg to cancer.

“I knew I wanted to stay active and was looking for a place to do it,” he says. “It’s really cool what they’re doing with this sport.”

He talked to coach Trent Thenhaus about taking pictures of the team, and recently set aside some time at the start of two practices to get a group portrait, along with some action shots.

One of his most gripping photos is a gravity defying shot of RIC Hornet Leomar Leyva, seen here diving for a ball. The shot was done with a bit of help. Leyva was suspended by cables, set up by volunteers from a flying trapeze school, to give the illusion of flying through the air. “I call that one Superman,” Gregory says.

The Hornets plan to use the photos for marketing and publicity in an effort to drum up interest and support of the team.

“We are hoping this will really put this program on the map,” Gregory says. “I think these photos are going to do a lot as far as raising awareness for the program and what we are doing out there.”

Important Information from Employee Health and Infection Prevention

Ebola Virus Information

RIC would like to share some important information with you regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Although we have a much lower risk for possible transmission than acute care hospitals with emergency departments, it remains important that we are cognizant of the symptoms and screening protocols. Click here to view a detailed Ebola Virus Disease Evaluation Algorithm from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The most significant factor to consider is a recent history of leaving an Ebola affected area within the past 21 days or having contact with a known or suspected EVD case. The presence of a fever greater than 101.5 degrees F for anyone with a positive travel/exposure history is also significant and should be isolated and reported to RIC Infection Control immediately.

Flu Vaccine Update

Also, as you know, it is flu season. 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. 

As always, close attention to proper hand hygiene practices and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) need to be strictly followed by all staff to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases. If you have a fever or feel ill, STAY HOME and limit your contact with others. If you are off work three or more days, you need to be evaluated by your primary care physician and provide a return to work statement to Employee Health Services.

Getting Flu Shots On Your Own, Insurance Coverage

We have received a couple of reports from employees regarding benefits plan coverage issues for flu shots they have received. Flu shots are covered under both of RIC's medical plans (Aetna and BCBSIL), not the prescription plans. If you visit a Walgreens, CVS or other pharmacy for this service, please make sure you go to the clinic area at the location for the service. Please do not go to the pharmacy counter where you would typically pick up filled prescriptions. This should alleviate any confusion about the billing process. Here are more details.    

Aetna: Employees enrolled in the Aetna EPO plan should not have to pay for any flu shot charges once your plan I.D. card is presented to any of their pharmacy chain partners. These include: Jewel-Osco, CVS, Kmart, Meijer, Target and Walgreens. If you use another provider, you may need to submit a manual claim for reimbursement, which can be found at www.aetna.com.

BCBSIL: Flu shots are covered at 90% (not subject to deductible) as part of our BCBSIL PPO medical plan. You may need to pay for the entire amount of the shot up-front and submit a claim for reimbursement if the drug store chain you visit does not directly bill BCBSIL for this service. In this case, please go to the Blue Access for Members section at www.bcbsil.com and download a form that can be submitted to BCBSIL to be reimbursed for 90% of the total cost. Please follow this same process if you have already received a flu shot and the pharmacist told you the cost wasn’t covered by your plan.

Contact Human Resources at Benefits@ric.org with any questions about flu shots and insurance coverage.        

For questions about employee health and infectious disease please do not hesitate to contact Kim Dellutri or Asif Saiyed

Kim Dellutri, Employee Health Services


312 238-6296 

Asif Saiyed, Infection Preventionist


312 238-2914

SkyRise Chicago This Sunday!

It’s hard to believe that SkyRise Chicago is this Sunday. We are sold out. If you’re still interested in participating but didn’t get a chance to sign up, please join the SkyRise Chicago Waitlist. You will be contacted if a slot becomes available.

You can still take part of SkyRise Chicago by becoming a Virtual Climber or by supporting your RIC colleagues who are participating in the event. Visit SkyRise Chicago to donate today! 

The top 25 employee fundraisers as of Wednesday, October 25, at 5:00 p.m., were entered in a raffle to win four coveted tickets to a Chicago Blackhawks game on Sunday, November 2. Caitlin Doman, Occupational Therapist, 9th Floor Patient Care Recovery Unit, is the lucky winner of the tickets. 

There’s still a chance to win another prize. The top 10 employee fundraisers 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.

SkyRise Chicago employee packet pickup is tomorrow, Thursday, October 30 from 10:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. at RIC in the Heyworth Room West on the second floor. Don’t forget to pick up your packet tomorrow. After that, packets can only be picked up on Friday and Saturday at the Willis Tower between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Help Us Document SkyRise Chicago

For those of you climbing or handcycling, volunteering or coming to support SkyRise Chicago this Sunday, please share your photos and inspiring stories with us for next week’s RIC Matters.

Submit photos and stories on Monday, November 3, to Kevin Davis at kdavis@ric.org.  Thanks, and good luck to our climbers and handcyclists!  

Schwartz Center Rounds to Address "Dealing with Difficult Words"

Please join us for the next Schwartz Center Rounds “Dealing with Difficult Words” on Tuesday, November 4, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Heyworth Rooms. A multidisciplinary panel that includes Kelcey Bines, MS, OTR/L, Jennifer Cannon, NP, Wayne Darring, PCT, and Jennifer Gasieski, RN, will present their perspectives on how unkind words from patients and family members can affect staff and how they have dealt with these situations. The panel will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by Debjani Mukherjee, PhD, of RIC’s Donnelley Ethics Program.

The Donnelley Ethics Program is also thrilled that a record-breaking 197 staff members attended the last Schwartz Center Rounds on Tuesday, September 16. Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thanks to our Schwartz Center Rounds Planning Committee and to our panelists from the Center for Pain Management who shared with us their insights from a recent case of conversion disorder, a condition in which psychological stress can create physical symptoms.

Schwartz Rounds are a forum for staff to come together to explore and share the psychosocial and emotional aspects of caring for patients. See http://www.theschwartzcenter.org/supporting-caregivers/. These Rounds are open to all RIC employees and trainees. Lunch will be provided and continuing education credits are available for various disciplines. Hope to see you on November 4th!

Schwartz Center Rounds Planning Committee Members: Mary Dubon, Beth Holland, Mark Huang, Andy Kondrat, Debjani Mukherjee, Matthew Oswald, Glenn Paustian, Beth Reece, Jacki Smith, Gayle Spill, Ellen Jo Suerth, Preya Tarsney and Kristi Turner.

RIC Hosts Fitness Challenge to Support U.S. Paralympics

In partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, RIC hosted a Fitness Challenge at the Wirtz Sports and Fitness Center last Friday.

Paralympics sponsors BP, Deloitte and The Hartford formed employee teams and attempted events such as handcycling, rowing, a seated medicine ball toss and other track and field drills. U.S. Paralympians were on hand to provide advice and cheer on the teams.

RIC was proud to welcome Melissa Stockwell (triathlete and Iraq war veteran), Susan Katz (an Ironman competitor and retired two-time U.S. Paralympian and Paralympics gold medalist), Oksana Masters (2014 Paralympic Winter Games silver and bronze medalist in Nordic skiing) and Josh Sweeney (2014 Paralympic gold medalist in sled hockey, Iraq war veteran and retired Marine).

About 50 people attended this fun, interactive event, and helped build excitement around the U.S. Paralympic team.

Employee Arts & Crafts Show Coming Soon

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

About ten employees participated last year, many of whom will be returning. Among the unique handmade crafts will be jewelry, candles, baskets and paintings. Proceeds from sales will benefit RIC’s free care program.

Event Details:

When: Friday, November 7, 2017

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

RIC Insider


Sprout Café Going Outdoors With Oktoberfest Menu on Thursday

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

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 (CROR) 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.

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. Ongoing opportunities include assisting the archery team and refereeing for Boccia (no experience needed – will train). Interested individuals, please reply to Jason Stubbeman at jstubbeman@ric.org or 312-238-5010.

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

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.