LIFE Center at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab


What is the LIFE Center?

Posted By Lisa Rosen


After a patient is hospitalized and discharged, patients and their families may face a new life chapter — a new livelihood, lifestyle and sense of self. These changes can require a sudden need to understand a broad array of information in a short period. 

For example, if a parent has a stroke, they may need round-the-clock childcare for their kids. Or, if a child survives a car accident, they may require assistance in order to return to school. Or, if the head of the household gets injured at work, they may now need to develop new skills in order to find a job. 

Experiencing a life-changing event can be challenging — finding information should not be one of those challenges.

The goal of the Henry B. Betts LIFE Center is to provide this information — resources for patients, their families, staff, and the community in a wide variety of topics. Resources like the LIFE Center (which stands for Learning, Innovation, Family and Empowerment) play a key role in helping address the range of emotional, interpersonal, physical and financial requirements, and enable patients to have a successful transition after they leave the hospital.

Our signatures services include:

  • Online and in-person resource assistance: LIFE Center staff provide support in accessing standardized, peer-reviewed patient education and consumer health information that upholds best practices. 
  • Patient and family education: Experienced educators provide individualized sessions to help access key resources and information to support quality of life and transition back to the community. 
  • Staff and student education: Educators support staff in providing patient-centered education via the LIFE Center model, and knowing how to access patient education materials throughout the system. The medical librarian provides support for evidence-based practice and research.
  • Peer mentor program: Mentors provide insights from a patients’ perspective throughout the system of care.

The LIFE Center provides support to help navigate the complexities of healthcare, community living and lifelong learning. Through all of these sources, we hope to:

  • Inform with resource assistance, education sessions, programs and services that support independence and community integration. 
  • Connect you with trusted resources and individuals. You are not alone!
  • Inspire by showcasing the vast possibilities of ability and disseminating information and discoveries of research and innovative clinical care.


To contact the LIFE Center for more information and support, call 312-238-5433 (LIFE) or visit our website

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