Shirley Ryan AbilityLab #1 in Rehabilitation

Press Release

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Tops U.S. News & World Report Ranking for 30th Consecutive Year

Posted By Megan Washburn

Remains only hospital of its kind to hold this distinction

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Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) again has been recognized as the national leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation, topping the U.S. News & World Report list for the 30th consecutive year. It remains the only hospital of its kind to hold this distinction.

U.S. News has declared Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to be the best hospital in its field every year since 1991. For the ranking, the independent news organization analyzes data for more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.

“Although we have celebrated this honor every year for three decades, today’s recognition is no less sweet,” said Joanne C. Smith, MD, president and CEO of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. “It is a tribute to our entire team — and the ingenuity and pioneering spirit that have propelled us to revolutionize our field. It is humbling to be recognized for the thirtieth time by physicians and U.S. News & World Report. And, today, this honor takes on special significance as the world faces new medical challenges.”

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab has established a COVID Care Unit designed to serve patients recovering from the infection. Survivors can face significant debility, and recovery can require extensive rehabilitation, with many patients having trouble swallowing, talking and walking, poor endurance and dexterity, kidney problems, as well as blood clots leading to stroke and cognitive issues.

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“In the throes of sickness, many of our patients with COVID-19 wondered whether they would live,” said Peggy Kirk, RN, chief operating officer. “Now, with a second chance, they are relearning how to live, gaining back the function that was lost. The privilege of caring for these and other patients fuels our team members day in and day out.”

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Founded in 1953 as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with the most severe, complex conditions — from traumatic brain and spinal cord injury to stroke, amputation and cancer-related impairment. The $550 million, 1.2-million-square-foot Shirley Ryan AbilityLab opened its doors in March 2017. The facility is the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same space, 24/7, surrounding patients, discovering new approaches and applying (or “translating”) research real time. The central goal of the translational approach is to develop new research and insights to help patients gain more function, achieve better outcomes and enjoy greater ability and independence.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, go to www.sralab.org

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