RIC Matters 2015-04-01 - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Matters 2015-04-01

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.


Be Part of RIC History: Sign Ability Institute Topping Off Banners

There’s still time to be part of RIC’s history by signing the large canvas banners that have been placed at the flagship hospital and all of our clinical locations. The banners will be unfurled next week during a “topping off” ceremony at the new Ability Institute.

“Topping off” is a construction tradition that celebrates placement of the final steel beam in the frame. Marking this occasion and signing the final beam bring good luck to the future life of the building. The banners you sign will serve as our RIC family “beam.”

At each location, you’ll find colored markers near the banner. We invite you to sign your name, or share a brief thought or wish. Everyone is invited to participate in marking the canvas – employees, patients and visitors.

Canvases will be up and available to sign until Friday.

On Tuesday, April 7, at about 11:40 a.m., as the last beam is fitted into place, our banners will be unfurled in spectacular fashion to grace the Ability Institute. Join patients, family, colleagues and visitors at the south windows or watch from the south sidewalk of the flagship building.  For those who are unable to see it live, we’ll include a video link in RIC Matters.   

  Teddy Bear Clinic Brings Smiles

Child Life Services recently hosted RIC’s first Teddy Bear Clinic for our inpatients, outpatients and family members. 

The morning clinic was full of a variety of medical play activities to promote therapeutic and expressive play. After picking up a “patient” (teddy bear), attendees gave their patient a “check-up,” visited the different stations including medical art, the sensory station, dress up and dramatic play. 

Medical play opportunities such as these have been shown to reduce anxiety in children who are exposed to medical treatment. Play creates opportunities for children to learn, express and communicate fears and misinformation in a safe and familiar environment, while helping to create a positive association with medical treatment and equipment.

Quality Fest 2015 Almost Here

The Performance Improvement (PI) Department invites you to join us and your colleagues at Quality Fest 2015 on Wednesday, April 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Heyworth rooms. The Judges’ Award will be announced from 12:45 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the People’s Choice Award will be announced in RIC Matters on April 22. Come see how your colleagues are improving RIC one step at a time!

Please contact Dave Brewington at 312-238-6191 or dbrewingto@ric.org, or Tabitha Pearsall at 312-238-2904 or tpearsall@ric.org if you have questions about Quality Fest 2015.

Kids Plunge Into Discover Scuba Day

Twelve Caring for Kids participants recently plunged into our annual Discover Scuba Day at Chicago State University.

Participants were able to learn about scuba and try equipment while having fun swimming and exploring. DJ’s Scuba Locker staff was able to adapt scuba equipment to meet the needs and ability levels of our divers.

They discovered how easy it is to move around under water with gear, free of assistive devices. They also played several games that incorporated the use of a snorkel in order to increase confidence while breathing under water.

The Discover Scuba Day begins our annual scuba trip to Key Largo, Florida, where a small group of participants will use their training and education to explore the ocean blue.

Adaptive Sailing Lessons Available

You’re invited to come learn about adaptive sailing and racing in a program sponsored by the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation.

Sessions will be held on Thursday, April 9, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the RIC Sports and Fitness Center, 541 N. Fairbanks, Mezzanine Level.

Call 312-238-5001 for more information. 

Volunteers Needed For Caring For Kids Summer Camp

Caring for Kids will soon be hosting its annual summer camp and needs volunteers to assist with Caring for Kids participants. 

Volunteers must be at least 15 years old. Volunteer responsibilities include:  hand-over-hand assistance, pushing participants’ wheelchairs, keeping participants engaged and safe and having an encouraging, enthusiastic attitude. 

What is Caring for Kids? 

Caring for Kids is an outpatient pediatric program for children ages 7-17 with physical disabilities, offered through the RIC Sports Department. Caring for Kids provides a variety of adaptive sports and recreation opportunities to promote physical activity, socialization, and self-confidence for participants. 

Activities planned include: Cubs Dream Camp, Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing, Hidden Creek Water Park, rowing at Lincoln Park Boat Club, therapeutic horseback riding, yoga, laser tag, and more! 

Session I: July 6-17 (Participants ages 7-12) 

Session II: July 27-August 7 (Participants ages 12-17) 

If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Ashley Gruenwald at agruenwald@ric.org  or 312-238-5005 to find out what the additional requirements are to become a volunteer.

Get Involved with RIC’s Boccia Program

Did you know Chicago is one of the most popular spots in the country for the sport of boccia? The game has been part of the Paralympics Games since 1984, and tests athletes’ coordination, accuracy, concentration and ability to strategize. 

The RIC Boccia Program provides a recreational and competitive outlet for wheelchair users who have severe locomotor disabilities of a cerebral or non-cerebral origin, including individuals with Cerebral Palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, high-level spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ALS and arthrogryposis. 

Boccia has many similarities to its cousin-in-sport, bocce – the typically outdoor back-yard game. However, the difference between the two sports is quickly apparent when watching play. Boccia is played indoors on a flat, smooth surface – typically a gymnasium floor – by individuals, pairs or teams. 

Athletes throw, kick or use an assistive device to propel leather balls as close as possible to a white target ball (the “Jack”). There are six red balls and six blue balls split evenly between team members. Athletes are divided into “classification groups,” based on a combination of their functional ability and diagnosis to ensure equity in play. 

Currently, the RIC Boccia Team practices Thursday evenings from 6:15 p.m. 8:15 p.m. at Lake Shore Park, 808 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago (corner of Chicago Avenue and Inner Lake Shore Drive). If you work with or know of anyone who may fit the profile and be interested in the team, please have them contact Jason Stubbeman at 312-238-5010 or jstubbeman@ric.org

The RIC Boccia Team is in need of RIC employees (any site) who are interested in assisting as: 

  • Sport Assistants. Work 1:1 with an athlete to assist in propelling and/or retrieving their shots. This role includes a lot of communication between you and the athlete you are assisting, so you get to know him or her well. 
  • Team Leader. Attend select practices and assist with group management, flow of practice, attendance, equipment management and other needs as they arise during practice. Team Leader would ideally attend a handful of tourneys, held monthly between November and June. 

If interested in volunteering, please contact Jason Stubbeman at 312-238-5010 or jstubbeman@ric.org.

If you have questions or want to see more, keep an eye out for Boccia Sport Days at RIC’s flagship building,  held roughly once a month in collaboration with the Therapeutic Recreation Team.

Parkinson’s Fitness Class Offered

RIC Health and Fitness Center is starting a new class for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The class is based on 4 PWR!Moves ® developed by Dr. Becky Farley, a physical therapist, neuroscientist and Parkinson exercise specialist.

PWR! Circuit Class for people with Parkinson’s disease directly targets four foundational skills shown by research to become impaired in PD and that interfere with everyday mobility. This semi-private class integrates PWR!Moves ® into circuit training.

PWR!Circuit Class for people with Parkinson’s disease starts on May 5, and will run for 11weeks.

For more information or to register, please call 312-238-5001, or email Aleksandra Gebska at agebska@ric.org.

RIC Archery Program Seeks Participants, Volunteers

The RIC Archery program has officially kicked off the 2015 season. Practices are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Archery Bow Range Chicago, 1757 N. Kimball Ave.

The season began on March 18, and runs through June 24. The program is free to participants, and all necessary equipment is provided. No previous experience in archery is necessary. It is open to all individuals with a primary physical disability.

We currently need an RIC employee to volunteer as a Team Leader for the program. Responsibilities include attending select practices on Wednesday evenings, assisting with attendance, helping with equipment and assisting with archery instruction to participants.

Instruction assistance will only occur once you feel ready, as you will be provided with instruction on the sport. Additionally, there will be a head instructor on site during the practices. No experience is necessary, but an interest in learning the sport of archery is. 

Please share this opportunity with others, and refer anyone from any of our RIC sites who may be interested in the archery program who has a primary physical disability. We are always looking for more participants and, as mentioned above, no previous experience in archery is necessary.

To register for the program or to volunteer, please contact Jason Stubbeman at jstubbeman@ric.org or 312-238-5010. Thank you.

Therapeutic Recreation Hosts Weekly “TR Talks”

The Therapeutic Recreation Department is hosting a series of new "TR Talks" each week revolving around different recreation and community reintegration topics. 

Last week, for example, the department hosted Eric Lipp, former patient and founder/director of the Open Doors organization, which provides people with disabilities resources for accessibility and travel in Chicago. 

Patients and families attended the event, and had a chance to hear Eric's story, learn more about Open Doors and ask questions regarding travel and leisure after an injury. 

Therapeutic Recreation hosts "TR Talks" every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the LIFE Center.

RIC Blackhawks Beat USA Warriors

The RIC Blackhawks controlled the puck from the drop in their latest match up last Friday against the USA Warriors, a team comprised of all wounded soldiers based out of Washington DC. 

The Hawks played minus a couple of key players, but still managed to win 2-1. Paralympians Kevin McKee and Brody Roybal were off playing for Team USA in a three-game match with Canada as our National team prepares for the World Sled Hockey Championships at the end of April. 

Erica Mitchell guided the team up and down the ice during Friday’s game at Johnny’s Ice House West. There also were shining moments of physical play from newcomers Travis Dodson and Frank Pearson, who aided the team in controlling the puck most of the game. The Hawks got on the board first as they scored on a two on one rush with Chuck Wyder putting the puck past the Warrior net minder. 

The Warriors took advantage of the Hawks’ over aggressive play late in the second period and went on a two on none break to even the score. The Hawks jumped back on the attack early in the  third period, tallying another goal from the stick of Chuck Wyder. The Hawks played solid defense the final seven minutes to outlast the Warrior attack and chalk another win.

The RIC Blackhawks will be back in action April 9-12 in Buffalo, NY, as they battle for the Championship Division title at the USA Hockey Disabled Festival, which fields more than 45 sled hockey teams. The Hawks are currently one of the top eight teams in the country, and look to bring home the hardware in their final tournament of the season.

April is Occupational Therapy Month

RIC occupational therapists will be celebrating Occupational Therapy Month in April through advocacy, education and volunteer opportunities. Look for updates throughout the month in RIC Matters to find out what our OTs will be doing each week.

OT is an applied science and allied health profession that provides skilled treatment to help individuals achieve and maintain independence and satisfaction in their lives. OT is a profession that is concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation, which really are just meaningful and motivating activities that people need or want to do.

OT enables people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate in activities or to modify the environment to better support participation. OTs use an individualized evaluation process and standardized outcome measures to customize a plan of care to assist patients in meeting their goals.

For example, an OT plan of care may include assisting someone to become as independent as possible with everyday activities, make safety recommendations to prevent further secondary complications or injury, increase strength and endurance to maximize participation in meaningful activities and promote getting around in the community.   

Please watch this video to learn more about the broad impact OT can have on patient lives!


Events Scheduled for Loss of Limb Awareness Month

The Amputee Coalition, the nation’s leading organization on limb loss, has declared April as Limb Loss Awareness Month. The coalition estimates that each day more than 500 people lose a limb, and approximately 2 million people are currently living with the loss of a limb in the United States. 

Throughout the month of April, clinical staff and patients on the 4th and 6th floors, along with the LIFE Center, Research, Prosthetics and Orthotics departments are conducting events to help raise loss of limb awareness. Here is what is planned:

Please join us in recognizing this month through our peer/professional panel on Thursday, April 16, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Heyworth rooms. A panel will be conducted with an RIC peer mentor, physician, prosthetist, psychologist, researcher and member of allied health. A question and answer session and discussion will follow.

Current RIC staff, inpatients, outpatients, patients in DayRehab and those in research are invited.

Tours of the prosthetic lab will also be taking place. To learn more and register for a tour, please contact Bridget Hahn at BHahn@ric.org.

April 2015 Resource Awareness – Limb Loss Awareness and Parkinson’s Disease

The LIFE Center has put together a list of resources for those interested in learning more about limb loss and Parkinson’s disease. Please click here to get the list.

Save the Date – Magnuson 2015

Mark your calendars for Friday, September 11, 2015, for RIC’s Annual Magnuson Awards Celebration. The event is an opportunity for us to come together, recognize outstanding achievements from the year and celebrate as a team. This year’s event will be an evening affair.  

Continue to watch RIC Matters for more information.

RIC Insider


Holiday Services Schedule

Good Friday Service (Tenebrae) - Friday, April 3, 2015, 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., RIC Chapel, South Mezzanine.

Easter Sunday Worship Service - April 5, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., RIC Chapel, South Mezzanine.

For additional information or assistance, please contact  the Spiritual Care Department of RIC, (312) 238-1200.

Submission Deadline for Art in Motion on April 6

Art in Motion, the annual fundraiser and art exhibition hosted by the RIC’s Associate Board, is accepting submissions until April 6 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.

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.

Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day Registration

Who: Employee children/grandchildren, first grade through high school

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Location: 345 E. Superior, Heyworth East & West

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Space is limited!

You can pick up a packet in the HR Liaison Office, room 1635, in the flagship or at the HR Department, Onterie Building, suite 1031 or click on the link here.

For any questions/concerns, contact Mary Devine at 312-238-6290 or mdevine-ga@ric.org.

Basic Life Saving Course Offered

The Prince Family Esprit! Program is pleased to offer 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, May 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Registration in advance is required and is done through 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 Mary Devine at mdevine-ga@ric.org or 312-238-6290.

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

Rebecca Badgy – Executive Director of Academy

Mariam Bahia – Registry Patient Care Technician

Christine Baio – Registered Nurse, General Rehabilitation Unit

Julie DalMonte – Registry Occupational Therapist

Rena Grosser – Art Therapist, Research-Aphasia Group

Molly Hermiller – PhD Student, Research-Sensory Motor Performance Program

Helen Hwang – Pharmacy Student

Amy Kisner – Registry Sign Language Interpreter, Interpreter Services

Stephen Lee – Master’s Student, Center for Bionic Medicine

Jeffrey Lee – Master’s Student, Center for Bionic Medicine

Krista Leibfried – Physical Therapist, Pediatrics Outpatient

Amena Mackerl – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Yesenia Marquez - Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Brittany Martin – Patient Care Technician, Medically Complex Unit         

Kerin Meyer – Admission Liaison, Referral Development

Vanessa Muhammad – Buyer, Materials Management

Simone Murray – Food Service Worker

Christopher Nesler – Master’s Student, Center for Bionic Medicine

Nadine Portera – Registry Speech & Language Pathologist

Katherine Rankin – Volunteer Research Recruiter, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Tang Rongnian – Visiting Scholar, Research-Sensory Motor Performance Program

Sandra Schofield – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Katrina Shavers – Central Supply Technician

Courtney Shepherd – Central Supply Technician

Juanita Smith – Patient Care Technician, Flex Staff

Taylor Staten – Revenue Cycle Application Analyst, Patient Financial Services

Amy Stueve – Registered Nurse, Flex Staff

Adrienne Tucker, Patient Care Technician, Pediatric Unit

Sydney Vasquez – Patient Care Technician, Stroke Unit