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RIC to Launch New Era in Rehabilitation Medicine, Break Ground July 1 on New $550 Million Research Hospital

CHICAGO, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

What: U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin will help break ground for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) new $550 million facility that will change the way physical medicine and rehabilitation is delivered in the United States. The 1.2 million-square-foot research hospital will feature five interdisciplinary Innovation Centers focused on impairments in the brain, spinal cord, nervous system and limbs in adults and children. At the heart of each Innovation Center will be new AbilityLabs™ that bring together clinicians and patients in the same space as scientists, engineers and device developers to focus their efforts on the most important challenges their patients face. These dynamic, state-of-the-art spaces embed biomedical research into clinical care in ways unlike any other hospital.  

Where: 630 N. McClurg Court, Chicago, IL 60611

When: 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., July 1, 2013
(AbilityLabs demonstrations: 9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.  Speeches start at 10:30 a.m.  AbilityLabs reopen after ceremony concludes.)


  • Sen. Mark Kirk returns to RIC, where he was treated following his stroke
  • Remarks by Sen. Kirk, Sen. Dick Durbin, RIC researchers, patients and more in a tented space with 1,000+ invited guests
  • Interactive area showcasing AbilityLab innovations:
    • Bionic limbs: Through Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) physicians can rewire an amputee's nerves, enabling the patient to control the actions of robotic arms and legs through his own natural thoughts.
    • Exoskeleton: A therapy aid where patients with spinal cord injuries use a wearable robot to help them walk. It will someday provide an alternative to a wheelchair.
    • Armeo: Helps patients with partial paralysis work on arm and hand movements in a gravity-free environment.
    • Transcranial magnetic stimulation: Non-invasive brain stimulation, activate the senses and muscles of patients with strokes or other brain injuries. Reporters can participate in the demonstration to show how stimulating a part of the brain can cause them to make a fist. 
    • Lokomat: A specially designed treadmill where patients, suspended in a harness, learn to walk again as a robot moves their legs in a natural stride.
  • Ceremonial ground breaking with Sens. Kirk and Durbin, RIC Board of Directors, RIC researchers and patients
  • Military veterans treated at RIC
  • Live music and multi-media presentations



SOURCE Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
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