Expanded partnership extends care and research in Northwest Indiana

2012-02-19T00:00:00Z 2012-02-20T11:26:07Z Expanded partnership extends care and research in Northwest Indiana nwitimes.com
February 19, 2012 12:00 am

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the nation's number-one rehabilitation hospital, and Franciscan Alliance have joined in an expanded partnership that brings RIC's world-class rehabilitation medicine to Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City. This alliance builds on RIC's successful relationship with Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond, launched in April 2008. Since that partnership was announced, more than 1,950 residents from the region have been able to access RIC's world-class rehabilitation care closer to home for such conditions as stroke, complex acute brain and spinal cord injury as well as chronic pain and sports injuries. "RIC is excited to build on our strong partnership with Franciscan Alliance hospitals by expanding our services to more communities in Northwest Indiana," said Joanne C. Smith, M.D., president and CEO at RIC.

"With innovative research fueling better patient outcomes, RIC is the top destination for patients from around the globe who suffer from disease or injury, and bringing RIC's world-class rehabilitation care to St. Anthony hospitals means better patient recovery and outcomes for many more residents of this region."

Among those who have benefited from top rehabilitation care close to home is 57-year-old Linda Janesek, who woke up one February morning unable to move the right side of her body. The homemaker from a neighborhood on the Illinois/Indiana border was treated at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond, where RIC's Dr. Chrisoula Andressakis was a key member of her care team.

"When I went in, I couldn't use my right arm at all," said Janesek. "This summer, I was able to work in my garden and also get back to the neighborhood senior center, where I help serve food. The therapy I got from RIC made the difference."

The population of those 65 years and older in Northwest Indiana is 65,000 with an expected five-year growth of more than 10 percent. This segment of the population represents the largest number of users of rehabilitation and post-acute care services. The expanded partnership designates the Franciscan Alliance hospitals as the only health care providers in the region with this breadth of services, for both adult and pediatric patients, in partnership with RIC.

Together, RIC and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City, and Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond, provide rehabilitation services at inpatient and outpatient care settings. Additionally, patients have access to RIC's day rehabilitation centers, which focus on providing intensive outpatient therapy to help people regain function that will extend the continuum of rehabilitation care for patients. Rehabilitation services are provided by an accomplished team of health professionals, including physiatrists, which are physicians that specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation; occupational and physical therapists; speech-language pathologists; dietitians; recreational and developmental therapists; audiologists and rehabilitation nurses.

Gene Diamond, chief executive officer of Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region, welcomes the partnerships."The expansion of our success-ful relationship with RIC to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point and Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City means world-class rehabilitation care will be more convenient than ever for our patients and their families.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is a terrific partner. All of us look forward to combining their world-class resources with ours to make top-notch care, technology and services available to all who need it." Dr. James Callaghan, president of Franciscan St. Anthony Health- Michigan City, agreed. "Our hospital is proud to enter into this affiliation with RIC. RIC's worldwide, outstanding reputation speaks for itself. Franciscan St. Anthony Health, with our impressive quality awards and recognition, will fit nicely in a partnership with RIC. Our patients will benefit greatly." David Ruskowski, president of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, added, "I echo Jim's statement. We are bringing world-class inpatient and outpatient care and access to leading-edge research to our Northwest Indiana communities. We look forward to this new relationship and what it will mean for our patients."

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