RIC Matters 2015-01-07 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Skip to Content

RIC Matters 2015-01-07

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 Community Mourns the Loss of Dr. Henry B. Betts

From Dr. Joanne Smith:

It is with great sadness and a tremendous sense of loss that I share news of Dr. Henry B. Betts’ passing on Jan. 4, 2015, in Chicago, Ill. He was 86.

Dr. Betts is as inseparably linked to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago as anyone in our rich history. RIC is revered around the world today in large measure due to his extraordinary care and advocacy for people with disabilities.

Just who was Dr. Henry Betts? Because he retired some 16 years ago, many of you may not have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting him, but we want to share his legacy because the work you have devoted your talent and passion to here at RIC was largely shaped by his hand. 

Back in 1963, Dr. Betts had just completed his medical residency under Dr. Howard Rusk at New York University, who was known as the “father” of rehabilitation. Already a rising star under Dr. Rusk, Dr. Betts was so compelled by the opportunities he saw under RIC’s founder Dr. Paul B. Magnuson that he moved to Chicago and found his professional home at RIC, a home that he never left until retiring.

Over these three decades, Dr. Betts worked tirelessly in caring for his patients. He took on increasingly greater leadership roles, including medical director, president and finally CEO. As an equally passionate administrator, Dr. Betts’ goal was to build RIC into the leading rehabilitation hospital. These efforts were acknowledged in 1991, when U.S. News & World Report first ranked RIC as the nation’s #1 rehabilitation hospital — a distinction we have received every year since.

The fundamental values we hold dear today reflect the cornerstones of Dr. Betts’ life mission:  to work with fierce determination to make the individual patient the focus of everything we do, and to ensure that the excellence of RIC care is based on teamwork. His definition of teamwork remains ours today — the enthusiastic collaboration of physicians, nurses, therapists and all staff members to address the unique needs of each patient. 

Unique in style and a one-of-a-kind character, Dr. Betts created a sense of family and camaraderie, even as RIC grew. Some of you will remember him walking the hospital corridors and asking about you or your family. He was sincere in asking for suggestions on where and how we could do a better job. His ability to connect with people was one of his greatest gifts.

Henry Betts saw a big picture in society. He understood the potential of physical medicine and rehabilitation to make people with physical challenges better, stronger, more capable of pursuing productive and fulfilling lives. He believed with all his heart that the people we serve should be allowed to live their lives in our society, as fellow citizens, to the greatest extent of their Ability. We will carry this philosophy into the future.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Monika, Amanda, Trevor and Lucia on their immense loss. 

We will be hosting a reception at the hospital immediately following the formal memorial service, plans for which are being finalized by the Betts family. Details of the arrangements are below.

As we work together every day at RIC, we honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Henry Betts.

This world will never be the same, and we hold you in our minds, hearts and work. With “love, hope and positivity” — and all else you taught us — we carry on in honor of your beautiful life and legacy.  

Peace to you Dr. Betts and to all who love you.


Memorial Service and Reception for Dr. Betts on Jan. 16

We will be joining the Betts family in celebrating the life of Dr. Henry B. Betts next Friday, Jan. 16.

All staff are welcome to both events. For those individuals who wish to attend the memorial service at the church on your own time, you are warmly welcomed to do so.  For those persons at work at RIC Superior Street next Friday – your supervisors will coordinate a schedule for staff to join the reception if you wish. The reception follows the memorial service, and will begin about 1 p.m. 

In the meantime, a remembrance book will soon be available in the RIC Chapel for you to jot a note or a memory for the Betts family. 

Memorial Service

Friday, January 16, at 11:00 a.m.

Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago

126 East Chestnut Street

Chicago, IL 60611

Reception and Celebration immediately following

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

345 East Superior Street

Chicago, IL 60611

(12th Floor)

The world is immeasurably better for the brilliant life and passion of our beloved Dr. Betts.

Send us Your Favorite Memories and Stories about Dr. Betts

Employees are invited to share their favorite memories, reflections and lessons from Dr. Betts from which we will publish excerpts in next week's RIC Matters. Please email your reflections to RICMatters@ric.org

Read more about the life of Dr. Betts here.

LIFE Center Celebrates Peer Visitors with Holiday Party

Marcus Jones didn’t have many peers to help him understand what life would be like as a disabled person. That’s why he decided to come back to RIC to share his own experiences with those who recently have become disabled.

Jones is among 35 volunteers in RIC’s Peer Visitor Program, which connects newly injured inpatients at RIC with people who have had a similar injury and are now living with their disabilities.

 “I speak to help get people motivated,” says Jones, who became a volunteer five years ago. “Sharing my story is also inspirational to me. I want to let people know that you can live a life in a wheelchair.”

The LIFE Center on Monday showed its appreciation to Jones and other peer volunteers at its annual Peer Visitor Holiday Recognition Party.

“They do so much for RIC, for our patients, their families and our staff,” says Cris Mix, who oversees the program. “We want to recognize the peer visitors for all the wonderful things they do for our hospital and for our patients.”

The peers bring experience living with a variety of disabilities and conditions. Among the newest peers is a volunteer who is living with a ventricular assist device, or VAD. Mix said the hospital was seeing more patients with VADs and saw a need for a peer who has gone through the procedure.

Another peer, Kenneth Jennings, joined the program this past June. “I had wanted to do it for a long time,” he says. “It’s been great. I love giving back. You get to pay it forward.”

All peers are carefully selected and go through a training program. In addition to speaking to groups of patients, peers also make themselves available to meet one-on-one with patients at their request.

Mix says peers are a valuable resource with a special ability to connect with patients. “It’s really valuable to talk to someone who has firsthand knowledge, who has lived through it,” she says.

Therapeutic Rec Hosts Adapted Sports Event with Women’s Basketball Team

The Therapeutic Recreation Department recently hosted an adapted sports day with Northwestern University’s Women's Basketball team.

The event took place on December 13 in the Heyworth Rooms. It was a fun and interactive opportunity for Northwestern players to participate in a variety of games with our patients. They enjoyed activities such as bocce, ladder golf, wheelchair basketball and bag toss.

Some of the team members also visited patient rooms and distributed autographed posters.

It was a fun evening of collaborating with the athletes. The Therapeutic Recreation Department looks forward to more opportunities like this in the future.

First Schwartz Center Rounds of 2015: “Shifting Hope”

The first Schwartz Center Rounds of the year is around the corner. Please join us on Tuesday, January 13, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Heyworth Rooms for the next Rounds where we will be discussing “Shifting Hope.”

A multidisciplinary panel that includes Joelle Johnson, OTD OTR/L, Leslie Rydberg, MD, Heather Slack, BSN, and Brett Stithem, LCSW, will share perspectives on a case in which a patient (and a family) struggled to adjust to a life-limiting condition. The panel will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by Debjani Mukherjee, PhD, of RIC’s Donnelley Ethics Program.

Schwartz Rounds are a forum for staff to come together to explore and share the psychosocial and emotional aspects of caring for patients. 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 January 13th!

For more information on the Schwartz Center, please visit http://www.theschwartzcenter.org

2015 Benefits Reminders

2015 Benefits Enrollments Review

With the start of the New Year, the Human Resources Department would like to remind you to review your 2015 benefit enrollments.  

  • Go the ADP Self Service Portal
  • Go to the Myself tab
  • Go to the Benefits Section, then select Enrollments

For a screen shot to help you navigate the instructions, please click here.

If you have questions, please email benefits@ric.org or contact Human Resources at 312-238-6297.  Thank you.

Commuter Flexible Spending Account Change

If you participate in our Commuter Flexible Spending Account, please be aware that this benefit will change in spring 2015. The Commuter Flexible Spending Account (FSA) will change from a one month to a two month pre-fund process, beginning with the April 2015 payroll deduction which will fund June 2015 transit/parking passes. There will be a one month ramp up period associated with this change, meaning transit/parking orders for May 2015 will not be funded by April 2015 payroll deductions. Please note that this benefit is not applicable to RIC parking facilities, which are already deducted from payroll on a pre-tax basis. For additional information and to learn how you can prepare for this change, please refer to the 2015 Commuter FSA change planning document.

Resource Awareness Wellness: Pursuing Your Goals in the New Year

It’s a new year. Click here for some resources we’re featuring this month in the LIFE Center to help folks meet (and keep) those healthful resolutions.

More Holiday Spirit

The Medical Records Department shared some photos from their recent holiday celebration. In this one, the team shows off its matching Santa hats, which brought out the jolly spirit in everyone.

RIC Insider

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. If you plan to submit photos, please make sure that patients and non-employees sign photo release forms. 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.

Welcome New RIC Team Members

Corrie Abegglen – Physical Therapist, Wheeling

Cristina Alagaban – Registered Nurse, Flex Staff

Tamer Almasri – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Megan Berry – Patient Care Technician, Patient Recovery Unit

Olivia Bimbi – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Chad Carroll – Clinical Applications Analyst, Information Systems

Bridget Chadwick – Administrative Coordinator, Flex Staff

Winny Chiu – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Janet Chou – Research Pharmacist, Pharmacy

Kewanee Cotton – Intake Coordinator, Admitting

Katharine Davis – Research Assistant, Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes

Carolyn Dewart – Pharmacy Student

Theresa Field – Prosthetist Resident

Marque Guest – Billing Manager, Patient Financial Services

Amy Lange – Research Coordinator

Amy Larque – Therapeutic Recreation Intern

Adam McCue – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Laura Mejeur – Occupational Therapist, General Rehabilitation Unit

Nicole Michalow – Fitness Center Intern

Christopher Mirovaliev – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Maria Mordel – Registered Nurse, Flex Staff

Christina Morgan – Financial Clearance Coordinator, Prosthetics/Orthotics

Yazmin Mullins – Patient Service Representative, Northshore Outpatient Administration

Megan Ossim – Physical Therapist, Medically Complex Unit

Armando Serrano – Executive Chef/Food Production Manager, Food Service

Carolyn Szczesniak – Fitness Center Intern

Amanda Szumelda – Physical Therapist, Orthopedic Unit

Brittaney Taylor – Food Service Worker

Joseph Willuweit – Legal Intern, Office of General Counsel