Our team of therapists with a pediatric patient




The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab employs some of the top professionals in their respective clinical or research fields.  Let's take a quick look at what separates our talent from others in the rehabilitation field.

Our Doctors


The type of doctor leading your AbilityLab care team is called a physiatrist. Physiatrists have advanced training and expertise in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (i.e., how the body moves). They treat patients with physical or cognitive (i.e., thinking, speaking) impairment due to injury, illness or medical condition. They guide and manage your medical care and oversee your progress.

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Advanced Practice Providers (APPs)


The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is proud to employ an excellent team of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs).  Our APPs are full members of our medical team and engaged in both inpatient and outpatient patient care.  These certified and highly trained Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners help with many aspects of patient care, including:  assisting with the diagnosis of medical conditions, planning and implementing interventions, and evaluating patient responses and progress towards individual goals.

Our Nurses


Our Registered Nurses (RN) provide direct patient care to meet your health, education and functional goals. They work with you and your family in developing skills needed to keep you healthy after you leave inpatient care.

Only Rehabilitation Hospital to Receive Magnet Recognition for Nursing Three Times

It's because of the quality of AbilityLab's nurses that we are the first independent rehabilitation hospital in the country to receive prestigious Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing philosophy and practice, adherence to national standards for improving patient care, leadership and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity. 

  • Magnet-designated facilities consistently outperform other facilities in recruitment and retention nurses, resulting in increased stability in patient care and positive patient outcomes.
  • Because quality nursing is one of the most important factors in enlisting high-caliber physicians, Magnet status becomes an attractive quality that extends to the entire facility.
  • Health care consumers have more confidence in the overall quality of a hospital if it has achieved the level of nursing standards established by the Magnet Recognition Program®.

For information on our Nurse Staffing and to request additional information in accordance with the Hospital Report Card Act, click here.

Our Allied Health Professionals


At the AbilityLab, these clinical professionals provide specialized therapies on each care team, help patients regain function and achieve their personal goals. One important way AbilityLab supports the professional development of its allied health staff is through our Clinical Ladder Program. This program encourages growth for our staff, provides a reward program for excellence and supports optimal care for patients.  Of our Allied Health team, 162 have graduate degrees and 26 have doctoral degrees.

  • Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) — PCTs assist you with daily activities like showering, grooming, dressing and eating.
  • Physical Therapists (PTs) — A PT assesses your abilities and develops an individualized treatment plan focused on a variety of activities to help with balance, mobility, strength, endurance and range of motion (i.e., gross motor skills). She or he will also provide information on identifying equipment you might need after leaving the AbilityLab. Upon discharge, she or he will also guide you in identifying what changes you will need to make to your home or next living environment.
  • Occupational Therapists (OTs) — An OT assesses your abilities and develops an individualized treatment plan focused on your daily activities and routine in order to help you gain more independence with showering, grooming, dressing and eating. OTs focus primarily on fine motor skills. Upon leaving Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, she or he will work with you and your family to identify any bathroom assistive equipment you will need at home or in your next living environment, as well as ensure that you and your family members have training in using this equipment.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) — An SLP assesses your thinking processes and ability to communicate, including memory, solving problems, paying attention and interacting with others. She or he will develop an individualized treatment plan that will focus on understanding and remembering information, talking, making or using facial expressions and gestures to communicate, and swallowing.
  • Respiratory Therapist/Care Practitioners (RCPs) — An RCP uses special medical equipment to help you if you cannot breathe on your own. She or he will also provide information designed to help you maximize your recovery. RCPs will also assist your care team in determining what kind of therapy is best for your condition based on any lung or breathing disorders you might have.
  • Care Managers — A Care Manager is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) or Registered Nurse (RN) who will work with you and your family throughout your stay to prepare an action plan for your discharge.  She or he will assess your goals and review your support systems and needs at home, or your next living environment. She or he will also coordinate efforts with the rest of your care team to ensure that your care continues and that you make a smooth transition from the AbilityLab to your next level of care. Care Managers will also help talk to your insurance company, identify financial and community resources, and guide you in taking other necessary steps before leaving the AbilityLab.
  • Psychologists — Professionals trained in the psychological, emotional and social concerns related to you and the challenges you may face may be part of your care team. They are here to support how you feel and think about your journey to recovery.


Care Team at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab


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