As a Department of Defense TRICARE provider, we care for U.S. Service Members who sustain injuries or experience catastrophic illness during active duty, basic training or while working and living on bases throughout the world. We are honored by this trust and the chance to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.
Service Members often seek — or are referred to — our experts in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, burns and single- or multiple-limb amputation. We coordinate care with the Department of Defense to make sure that our Military patients receive the best private rehabilitation care available, while also remaining connected to resources and support available from their units.
An AbilityLab Care Manager will work closely with your referring hospital, commanding officer and Military Point of Contact to coordinate national/international air ambulance flights, including the ground ambulance trips from the airport, as needed. While you are in Chicago, we will also provide ongoing assistance to coordinate local transportation from your temporary housing to the hospital or clinic where you will be receiving care. If you are driving to AbilityLab from out of state, we can provide overnight parking for your vehicle through our valet service at the hospital.
Things to Know About Our Military Care
The AbilityLab team works daily with US armed forces to successfully and efficiently provide world-class care to military patients. Here are common questions asked:
Will I lose my military benefits if I seek rehabilitation at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab?
You will remain eligible for all military benefits, pay, and leave while receiving care at the AbilityLab, which is a Civilian Center of Excellence. Your Care Manager will be in regular communication with your Military contacts to insure that there are no lapses in your benefits.
Is there temporary housing available for military patients/families?
Active Duty Military patients and their families are given priority for rooms at AbilityLab Place, an on-campus Hospital Hospitality House. This housing is made available to you and your family at no cost while receiving treatment. It provides well-appointed private bedrooms/baths on a unit for eight families with a communal kitchen and family room on the floor.
AbilityLab also has a variety of temporary housing options available all within a short walk or cab ride to the hospital. There are a large number of hotels in the neighborhood from luxury accommodations at the Peninsula, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton to more affordable options at the Red Rood Inn, Hyatt or Marriott. There are also several extended stay hotels that offer kitchenette suites and are set up for longer stays. Furnished one-, two- & three-bedroom apartments can be rented through Chicago’s network of Corporate Housing companies.
Will I be connected to other military families while at AbilityLab?
Since you’ll be away from your usual support system on base or with your unit, RIC partners with local Service Organizations so that you will remain in contact with others in the Military. We also have an extensive network of Wounded Warrior Fitness/Sports activities that are run in collaboration with the Department of Defense and Wounded Warrior organizations.
Will I need an air ambulance or can I travel commercially?
Your referring physician/treatment team will assess the safest way for you to travel to Chicago. Once they have determined what is medically appropriate, your AbilityLab Care Manager with work with your referring treatment team to coordinate the flight, any accompanying medical personnel, air ambulance, and ground transit.