An Ability Lab

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New Rehab Hospital Integrates Research and Care in One Facility

Posted By Meg Washburn

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Health Facilities Management

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The new Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago represents a major development in health care through its first-ever, high-level integration of scientific research and patient care in a rehabilitation hospital designed to inspire and promote healing.

The 27-story, $550 million facility comprises 1.2 million square feet, 800,000 of which is devoted to clinical care and research that will make the new hospital one of a kind in the U.S. when it opens March 25.

This model of translational research will change the way people work and the way patients get better, increasing the likelihood that promising research ideas will be converted into viable medical treatments.

Joanne C. Smith, M.D., President and CEO

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The new hospital also marks a major rebranding effort by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), already renowned for its care for patients with severe, complex conditions, by changing its name to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

The hospital will include 242 beds, 60 more than that of the current hospital, and around-the-clock patient care that will set the AbilityLab apart from other hospitals of its type.

The AbilityLab is touted by RIC as the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same open spaces, discovering new clinical approaches and applying — or translating — research in real time.

“This model of translational research will change the way people work and the way patients get better, increasing the likelihood that promising research ideas will be converted into viable medical treatments,” says Joanne C. Smith, M.D., president and CEO, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

The Chicago offices of design firms HDR and Gensler partnered on the project and utilized the specialized experience of both, says Abigail Clary, director of health, HDR, and principal in charge of the project.

Visit Health Facilities Management to read the full story.  For media inquires about the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, please contact Meg Washburn at mwashburn@sralab.org.

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