New rehab facility aims to be world’s best, bring new treatments to patients faster

CHICAGO  -- Nearly 200 patients made a big move Saturday as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago changed locations and names, becoming the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

The new location is arguably the world's best rehabilitation facility, officials say, including 1.2 million square feet of patient care and research. That's nearly triple what the old facility had.

"It’s a hospital unlike any hospital in the entire world, acute care or otherwise. We’re experimenting but we’re betting on the impact of science actually leapfrogging our knowledge and making patients' problems better, if not resolved faster and quicker,"  said Dr. Joanne Smith, President and CEO of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

"Doctors, patients and researchers, will now all be on one floor, coordinating efforts in real time, to bring the already advanced care here to patients faster," Ryan said.

The facilities include state-of-the-art therapy labs, and a non-medical room on the pediatrics floor donated by the Blackhawks.