Ela Lewis

Ela Lewis, PT

Position Associate Vice President, Market Development
Phone Number Description Phone

Telephone Number


About Me

About Me

Ela Lewis is a physical therapist, published researcher and robotic patent holder. She began her career at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in 1998 in a dual role of physical therapist and researcher. Early in her career, she developed her passion for inpatient rehabilitation through treating patients with spinal cord injuries. She enjoyed translating her clinical knowledge to research and published her first research papers on spasticity in spinal cord injury. The evaluation tool she developed in this specialty is called the SCATS and has been used worldwide to assess spasticity in the SCI patient population. Ela then went on to join a spin-off collaboration between Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Northwestern University called KineaDesign. Here, Ela and her colleagues again employed translational concepts to invent a robot that helps those recovering from stroke learn to walk again. The device is still on the market and sold worldwide. Ela then transitioned to an MIT start-up company called Myomo, Inc., as Executive Vice President of Clinical Outcomes, Sales and Marketing. The company's focus was in developing intuitive robotic exoskeleton technology. She used the translational research knowledge she had gained from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to help this company successfully launch into the market place. The company is now a publicly traded entity.

After visiting inpatient rehabilitation facilities around the world, Ela saw, firsthand, that there was simply no other rehabilitation research hospital that compares with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. She returned to the organization in 2011, taking on her current role as Executive Director of Market Development. In this role, she oversees the clinicians who are responsible for building relationships with referral sources (for example, case managers and social workers) and patients and families before patients are admitted to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. She loves helping referral sources, patients and families find the resources they need to make informed decisions on the best course of care to maximize potential outcomes and recovery.

Ela lives in Chicago with her husband, two children and basset hound, Abby.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 East Erie

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Professional Associations



    1991 - 1995
    Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana
    1995 - 1997
    MS in Physical Therapy, Washington University, St.Louis

Professional Affiliations

  • Public Relations and Marketing Chair
    American Physical Therapist Associations, 2012 - 2015

Work History

  • 2007 - 2012
    Vice President
  • 2005 - 2007
    Regional Trauma Director
    Health South Hospitals of Pittsburgh
  • 2002 - 2005
    Product Manager
    HDT Robotics
  • 1998 - 2002
    Research Physical Therapist