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RIC Breaks Ground on New Rehabilitation Research Hospital

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) broke ground on July 1 for a $550 million research hospital. The new facility, located two blocks south of its flagship location, has been named the Ability Institute of RIC and will launch a new paradigm for physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Central to the new hospital will be five Innovation Centers that leverage RIC’s core expertise in brain, spinal cord, neuro-musculoskeletal, pediatric, and cancer research and recovery. Each Center will introduce a model of care that will bring together clinicians and patients in the same space as scientists, engineers, and device developers to focus on the most important challenges their patients face. All human-subject research, applied research and proof-of-concept testing will be embedded with the clinical units in five uniquely designed spaces, called AbilityLabs™.

They will address speech and cognition, fine motor, gait and locomotion, coordination and endurance, and pediatrics. (See Ward Rounds Onlinestory, “Found in Translation” to learn more about the prototype AbilityLab RIC launched in January 2012.)

Projected to open in early 2017, the new 1.2 million-square-foot facility will have an initial capacity of 242 beds and 900,000 square feet dedicated to clinical and research programs, nearly three times the current research space.