This is the new state of the art facility that is replacing RIC. I have a friend who attended the pre-opening and said it is amazing.
By Lisa Schencker
A lone medical researcher hunches over her work in a quiet lab.
Meanwhile, down the street, doctors bounce from patient to patient in a hospital filled with noise and activity.
A new $550 million Chicago hospital will merge those scenes in hopes of bringing discoveries to patients sooner. Scientists, physicians and patients will work together at the new Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Streeterville, set to open to patients March 25. The new facility will replace the old nonprofit Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago building on East Superior Street, renaming the institute in the process. The new facility, like the old one, will serve patients with complex conditions who still need care and rehab services after they leave traditional hospitals.
The new 1.2-million-square-foot facility, a big part of RIC's rebranding as AbilityLab, will open with 242 beds and could offer as many as 360 in the future ? up from 182 now. The current facility has to turn away about 600 to 700 patients a year due to lack of space, said Dr. Joanne Smith, president and CEO of the AbilityLab.