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RIC Matters 2014-04-23

Quote of the Week

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”

–W. Clement Stone


Back Issues

To find previous issues, go to our Index of RIC Matters back issues.


Senator Mark Kirk Honored for Support of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Research

The American Physical Therapy Association recently honored U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) with its Public Service Award for his support of the physical therapy profession and his efforts to bring the benefits of physical therapy to a national audience.

Julie Schwertfeger, Manager, Inpatient Therapy, at our alliance partner Alexian Rehabilitation Hospital, gave the award to Kirk at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. Schwertfeger has met regularly with Kirk and his staff during the past two years to provide information and discuss legislation supporting rehabilitation research and services.

Since having a stroke in January 2012 and undergoing rehabilitation at RIC, Kirk developed a legislative agenda to transform the way researchers, doctors, therapists and hospitals care for patients with neurological disorders and injuries.

Kirk was nominated for the award by the Illinois Chapter of the Physical Therapy Association (IPTA) for his ongoing advocacy, which he has done through statements and outreach to the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, Faces of Stroke, the Brain Injury Association of America and through his RIC SkyRise Chicago climbs.

Schwertfeger said Kirk also was recognized for co-introducing legislation on rehabilitation research last May. Among Kirk’s initiatives are standardizing rehabilitation across care centers, expanding access to high-quality rehabilitation and creating opportunities for stroke patients to return to work.

As an example, Schwertfeger cited the Kirk-Johnson Rehabilitation Improvement Act (S.1027), which would create a national standard of care by reducing duplication in research within institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, the Act would spur future research by promoting interagency cooperation and modernization to reflect the recent growth and need for new, innovative therapies. More than 30 national rehabilitation groups support the Rehabilitation Improvement Act.

The award ceremony took place during the APTA Federal Affairs Forum, which was attended by more than 200 physical therapists from across the country. Senator Kirk walked down a series of slippery stairs on the rainy evening and stood tall using his quad cane to deliver a speech and accept his award. Schwertfeger said that Kirk’s energy and his ongoing commitment to fully use the mobility he fought to regain was inspiring and notable, especially considering he had a lengthy day of turbulent flights and numerous other appearances he had that night. 

“I was honored to be asked to present this,” said Schwertfeger, who is the Federal Affairs Liaison for the APTA Section on Research.

In his remarks, Senator Kirk warmly engaged the crowd and shared anecdotes from his rehabilitation.

“He talked about his experience at RIC very warmly, and about the fact that it made an impact on him. He feels strongly about these issues,” Schwertfeger said. “To have someone who had this experience dedicate himself to being an advocate is very powerful. He is truly an advocate who we did not have before. He’s dedicated to making a difference.”

Quality Fest 2014 Winners Share Improvements, Innovations

The Performance Improvement Department would like to thank all participants, judges, and staff who participated and supported Quality Fest 2014. We had another great batch of quality improvement projects from across the system of care, and we hope that all staff members who attended were able to learn something new to take back to their work.

We noticed there were several substantive similarities among the projects, including improving FIM scores and  reducing outpatient cancellations. Overall, a theme we heard indicates that when different disciplines improve processes together, the outcomes support the patient and the care team. The projects did a great job utilizing data – 13 of the 17 submissions were entered into the Judges’ Pick award. Please congratulate the winners for their great projects!

Award Winners

This year’s People’s Choice Award winners, by popular vote, are:

Alliances: “Don’t Get Caught with a Cauti” – Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (Anna Sian and team).

RIC: “My Trip to Discharge” – RIC Nursing Quality Council (Lan Hao, Kathy Stevens and team).

And this year’s Judges’ Award Winners are:

1st Place: “Changing Paradigms in Acute Care” – Franciscan St. Anthony Health - Crown Point (Brooke Nack and team).

2nd Place: “Don’t Get Caught with a Cauti” – Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (Anna Sian and team).

Special Lifetime Achievement Award to Jean Deddo

We would also like to thank Jean Deddo, Director, RICQI/Accreditation, for her long-standing commitment to quality improvement and Quality Fest. She  was the recipient of a special award – the Quality Fest Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Jim Sliwa felt privileged to have the opportunity to  present Jean with the award. In addition to all the remarkable projects presented at the Fest, the event also featured another note-worth QI project—all about Jean, her RIC history and impact! Please congratulate Jean on her illustrious career here at RIC as she prepares for retirement at the end of August.

“Thanks to all the staff who contributed to Quality Fest and for all the great work you do for RIC,” said Deddo, who was involved in creating Quality Fest in 2000. “I was really surprised to get the award. I’m trained as a nurse and I started here 38 years ago, and have always had interesting jobs here. As long as there is something new to do, it keeps me going.” 

New Chief Residents Announced

From: Elliot Roth, MD, Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

I am pleased to announce that the Chief Residents in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NUFSM) Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)/RIC during the upcoming Academic Year July 2014-June 2015 will be Ashwin Babu, MD, Alejandra Camacho-Soto, MD, and Sam Chu, MD. They will be succeeding our current Chief Residents, Drs. Brian Clay, Dan Cushman, and Sangeeta Patel.

Ashwin Babu was born in Queens, NY, and raised in Parsippany, NJ. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in biology at Rutgers University and subsequently attended New Jersey Medical School as part of the BA/MD program. He also worked in a research lab at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, conducting spinal cord injury research in a rat model. He advanced this research by working in a stem cell biology laboratory at King’s College in London. Dr. Babu served as an Intern at New Jersey Medical School, where he received an Intern-of-the-Month award. He joined the residency in PM&R at RIC/NUFSM in July 2012. Among his many projects, Dr. Babu is doing research with Dr. Monica Rho using ultrasound to evaluate deconditioning of abdominal muscles and with Dr. Joel Press on the cost variations of treating low back pain. He also is writing a book chapter with Dr. Steven Stanos on the physical exam for low back pain. He has published at least four papers and made two national scientific presentations to date. Ashwin lives in Chicago and enjoys sports and music.

Alejandra Camacho-Soto was born and raised in Bethlehem, Penn. She attended Georgetown University where she majored in psychology and minored in theology. She received her MD degree at the University of Pittsburgh. As a medical student, she received the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, during which she conducted a community project training pregnant Hispanic women in advocacy and health literacy. Camacho-Soto received a scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health to create and establish a medical student exchange program between Mexico and the US at the University of Pittsburgh. She also completed a T32 Clinical Research Pre-doctoral Fellowship in Geriatrics investigating autonomic nervous system function on low back pain in older adults. Dr. Camacho-Soto joined our Residency at NMH/RIC in 2011, and last year received the Meyer Gunther, MD, Award for displaying the art of listening, understanding, and interacting with patients. She was selected to participate in the research training workshop for the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program sponsored by the Association for Academic Physiatrists. Dr. Camacho-Soto is currently working with Dr. Jordan Grafman on family expectations following acute neurological injury and predictive factors for recovery after traumatic brain injury. Alejandra is married, and her husband is a neurosurgery resident at Washington University in St. Louis. She enjoys watching Star Trek, reading novels and playing volleyball and basketball.

Samuel Chu was born in New Haven, Conn., and raised in Basking Ridge, NJ. He attended Yale University where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in East Asian Studies. After college, he served as a clinical research assistant at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for one year, studying cartilage repair in osteoarthritis and outcomes after ACL and rotator cuff injuries. Sam attended New Jersey Medical School and received a Humanism in Medicine scholarship. He has been actively involved in student government, serving as student council president in both medical school and college. Dr. Chu joined the combined Internship and Residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at NMH/RIC in 2011, and was named as the Harris Resident last year for demonstration of academic excellence through educational initiative and motivation for learning. He also received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Feinberg School of Medicine. He was elected Vice President of the AAPM&R Resident Physician Council in 2013. Currently, Dr. Chu is participating in research with Dr. Monica Rho on accuracy of musculoskeletal physical examinations, with Dr. Christina Marciniak on outcomes of intrathecal baclofen pumps, with Drs. Leslie Rydberg and James Sliwa on outcomes after left ventricular assist device implantation, and with Drs. Santiago Toledo and Matthew Oswald on outcomes after knee replacement surgery. He lives in Chicago and is engaged to be married in August 2014. Sam plays violin, started an a cappella group in medical school, and enjoys playing sports.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Drs. Babu, Camacho-Soto, and Chu to their new roles as Chief Residents in PM&R during Academic Year July 2014-June 2015.

Elliot Roth, MD

Chair, Department of PM&R

Thank You, Parkinson’s Caregivers

Thank You, Parkinson’s Caregivers

From: Annette Lapinski, CRRN, Clinic Coordinator, Rehabilitation for Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Clinic

During Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we sincerely thank our attending and resident physicians, nurses and PCTs, therapists and all staff members who participate in the overall care and support our patients with Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders. We acknowledge the many staff members who completed specialized training, such as “TULIPS: for Better Parkinson’s Care and Allied Team Training for Parkinson’s.

We also had a number of staff members complete the LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™ training and certification.  The LSVT LOUD™ training is designed to train speech-language clinicians in a voice/speech treatment technique for adults and children with motor speech disorders, with a focus on Parkinson’s disease addressing vocal loudness and voice quality.

The LSVT BIG™ training and certification is designed to train physical and occupational therapists in an intensive whole body amplitude-based training protocol for individuals with Parkinson’s disease directed at increasing the size of limb movement, gait speed and balance.

We congratulate the following PTs, OTs and SLPs on achieving or maintaining their LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™ certifications:































































Marie Doyle



Pilkington (Montana)





































Kelly Izaguirre








Van Ess


Klass Stolman










RIC Insider

Last Chance to Join Weight Watchers at Work!

Through the Prince Family Esprit! Program, RIC is offering employees the opportunity to participate in Weight Watchers programs.  This is the last chance to enroll in this spring’s session, so don’t miss out! Come learn more at one of the following meetings: 

  • Thursday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m. in Magnuson
  • Tuesday, April 29, at 11:30 a.m. in Heyworth East
  • Thursday, May 1, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 1611 

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 Watches online. 

If you have any questions about participation in the Weight Watchers program, please contact Stephanie Adams at or 312-238-6291.

RIC Fitness Center Closed for Five Days in May

The RIC Fitness Center located at 541 N. Fairbanks Ct. will be closed from May 5 to May 9 for flooring maintenance. The Fitness Center will reopen on Monday, May 12. The RIC Fitness Center is normally open Monday-Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 7p.m.  Employees are welcome to join for just $10 a month, and payroll deductions are available. 

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: Thanks!


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