RIC Matters 2015-02-25 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2015-02-25

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.


Events Scheduled for Brain Injury Awareness Month

Every year, 2.4 million people sustain a brain injury. The leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) include falls and motor vehicle accidents, and affect people of all ages. Throughout the month of March, the Brain Injury Program at RIC, along with the LIFE Center, will highlight events to educate and raise awareness about brain injury.

Here’s what’s planned: 

Monday, March 9, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Please join us in the LIFE Center to hear Preya Tarsney, JD, speak on “Ethics of Social Media Engagement for Patients with TBI.” While you’re there, check out some of the great resources related to brain injury that the LIFE Center will be highlighting throughout the month, and network with local organizations that provide services and education for brain injury survivors. Representatives from The Brain Injury Association of Illinois, Synapse House and the Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse will be in attendance, and will have resources on hand for patients, families and staff.

On the same day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., David Farber will join us to exhibit his photography in the first floor lobby. A wide range of his work will be available for purchase. David sustained a traumatic brain injury in 1981, and has since traveled the world pursuing his love of nature photography. 

Monday, March 16, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Patients with brain injuries and their families are invited to the 10th floor dining room to participate in a Peer Panel coordinated by the LIFE Center. Come meet some of our peer mentors who have “been there” to share insights, tips and transition strategies helpful in navigating the challenges of brain injury.

Every year, The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month in March. The theme for the 2015 to 2017 campaign is: Not Alone.

 The Not Alone campaign provides a platform for educating the public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. The campaign also lends itself to outreach within the brain injury community to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.

Join us throughout the month of March to raise awareness about brain injury.

Action Packed Weekend for RIC’s Adaptive Sports Teams

It was an action packed weekend for RIC’s Adaptive Sports Program with teams competing in wheelchair basketball, sled hockey and quad rugby. Here’s a roundup of results:

Skyhawks Junior Wheelchair Basketball

The Skyhawks Junior Wheelchair Basketball teams participated in a weekend tournament in Frankfurt, Ill., battling against teams from Rockford, Milwaukee and the home team, Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association. 

The Skyhawks Varsity team had a rough weekend, losing all three games but gaining valuable experience and developing good team play. The Skyhawks Prep team, playing on a 8 ½ foot rim, continue to show why they’re one of the nation’s best, winning all three games and looking to build on last year’s 2nd place finish at Nationals.

Both Junior teams will be in action this coming weekend in Addison, Ill., as they continue to prepare for the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in April in Louisville, Kentucky.

RIC Blackhawks

The RIC Blackhawks Developmental team has worked hard and gained momentum this season. Sunday’s 3-1 win over the GLASA Falcons was their first victory in four matches against GLASA this year.

The team has developed speed and teamwork, and looks to continue its winning ways with one game left this season. On March 22, they will once again take on the GLASA Falcons at Hot Shots Ice Rink in Lake Bluff, Ill. 

The RIC Blackhawks Travel Team will host the League Championship and Home Tournament Wirtz Cup March 6-8 at the Triphahn Arena in Hoffman Estates. All games are free, so come out and cheer on the Hawks as they vie for the MidWest Sled Hockey League Championship.

The Blackhawks Travel Team is anchored by Paralympic Gold Medalists Brody Roybal and Kevin McKee, and U.S. Women’s National Player Erica Mitchell.

For a tournament schedule, click here.

RIC Bears Quad Rugby Team

The RIC Bears Quad Rugby team hosted its annual “Bear Brawl” tournament at Chicago State University with mixed results.

The RIC Bears went 1-2 with a strong victory over Pittsburgh after dropping games to Grand Rapids and St. Louis. 

Special thanks to all of those who volunteered their time to make this tournament a success.  Members of the quad rugby team practice twice a week, push hard and continue to develop their talents. The team is coached by RIC Physical Therapists Mike Klonowski and Martha Smith, as well as player dad, Art Kent.

The team continues taking strides towards improvement as they head to the USQRA Sectionals Tournament in St. Paul, Minn. March 6-8. The Bears hit hard, play team rugby and have fun.

For more information on Adaptive Sports or to volunteer with a team, please contact Derek Daniels at 312-238-5008 or ddaniels@ric.org.

Next Schwartz Center Rounds: Caring for Patients with Psychiatric Illness

Please join us for the next Schwartz Center Rounds on Tuesday, March 3 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Heyworth rooms. The topic is “Caring for Patients with Psychiatric Illness in the Rehabilitation Setting.”

A multidisciplinary panel with Kristen McCormick, DO, Raquel Minarsch, PT, DPT, Seth Mudd, LCSW, Natalie Seewald, RN and Amanda Whetstone, LCSW, will present their perspectives on a case, followed by an audience discussion moderated by Debjani Mukherjee, PhD, of RIC’s Donnelley Ethics Program.

Schwartz Center Rounds are designed to give staff a forum to come together to explore the psychosocial and emotional aspects of caring for patients.

For more information on the Schwartz Center, please click here.

The goal is to share experiences and thoughts on patient care with colleagues in a safe and open environment. By caring for the caregiver in this way, the hope is that we will enhance relationships with co-workers and patients. Schwartz Center Rounds currently occur in more than 350 sites in the U.S. as well as over 80 sites in the UK. 

Schwartz Rounds are open to all RIC employees and trainees, lunch will be provided and continuing education credits are available for various disciplines.

Art in Motion Call for Submissions

Art in Motion, the annual fundraiser and art exhibition hosted by the RIC’s Associate Board, is now accepting submissions for the juried show this coming June.

Now in its 13th year, the exhibition features more than 100 emerging and established artists and benefits RIC’s Art Therapy program.

James Rondeau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, will serve as juror of the 2015 submissions, and will award three prizes ranging from $500 to $2,000. All chosen finalists’ work will be on display in the Ryan Family Atrium of Northwestern University’s Lurie Center (303 East Superior), just steps away from RIC.

Selected pieces completed by patients in the Art Therapy program also will be shown in an adjacent area. The exhibit will be open to the public from June 11 to June 18, 2015. All selected artists will receive 50% of the proceeds from their artwork sales. Sale prices in previous years have been $200-$5,000.

All submissions meeting the following criteria will be eligible for jury:

  • Artwork should have been completed within the last three years
  • Each artist may submit up to three images
  • Follow the Call for Artist Prospectus rules and guidelines
  • A completed entry form, available from aossyra@ric.org
  • Materials must be received by April 6, 2015 

Finalists will be notified of their selection on Friday, May 8, 2015 and will receive more information about attending the Opening Night Awards and Celebration to be held on June 11, 2015. Awards will be announced and granted at this event.

Interested artists can visit the Art in Motion page for submission forms, as well as the Call for Artist Prospectus. Questions can be directed to Ali Ossyra at aossyra@ric.org or by calling 312-238-7693.

Guidelines for Employee Child Care during Chicago Public School Closings

As a reminder, whenever the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have an unplanned closure due to snow or cold weather, we invite children of RIC staff at any RIC location to come to RIC, 345 East Superior, from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This child care opportunity is available only when the Chicago Public Schools are closed. If the Chicago Public Schools are open, this opportunity is not available, even if your child’s school is closed. This opportunity also does not apply to regularly scheduled CPS holidays or days off.

Children must:

  • Be toilet trained
  • Bring their lunch
  • Bring their personal supplies and/or medications.  Written instructions signed by the parent must accompany any child with medications, allergies or other medical needs.

A cold breakfast and snacks are provided. Activities offered include videos and video games, board games and cards, and arts and crafts.

If you are bringing a child or children, please call in advance 312-238-5005 to let us know if at all possible. If you have questions, please contact Ashley Gruenwald, Caring for Kids Program Specialist, at 312-238-5005. Thank you.

Save the Date for SkyRise Chicago 2015!

We are thrilled to announce the seventh annual SkyRise Chicago will take place on Sunday, November 8, 2015.

Look for announcements regarding registration dates, fundraising, and volunteer opportunities in RIC Matters over the next few months.

Get ready to Tower Up!

RIC Adaptive Sports & Fitness Program Calendar of Events

Please click here for a full calendar of upcoming events.

RIC Insider


Performance Improvement Seeks Teams for Quality Fest

The Performance Improvement (PI) Department is currently seeking teams throughout the system of care that have used a PI approach (e.g., Plan-Do-Check-Act, Lean) to improve processes within the organization. We want to invite you to participate in Quality Fest 2015, scheduled for Wednesday, April 15.

This year we are urging teams with small incremental improvements to enter and show off your work. Performance improvement is about improving at all levels – large projects and small incremental improvements alike.

As with last year, there are two levels of participation. Projects will be eligible for the Judge’s Pick if they have clear results and have measured outcomes after improvements have been implemented. Projects will be eligible for the People’s Choice if they have collected data to support their problem statement. For more information, please click here for the RIC Quality Fest Entry and Judging Criteria.

If your team is interested in participating, please submit project info via the Survey Monkey form which you can access by clicking here.

Each submission will be reviewed and a confirmation of acceptance will be sent to the Project Leader.

Please contact Dave Brewington (312-238-6191 or dbrewingto@ric.org) or Tabitha Pearsall (312-238-2904 or tpearsall@ric.org) if you need assistance with a current or planned Performance Improvement project, or have questions about Quality Fest 2015. The deadline for applications is March 10.

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 by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please contact Gabriel Vergara, Payroll Manager, at gvergara@ric.org.

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

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