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Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Physical Therapist Kara Kulcher, left, works with client Irene Poeschl on regaining her mobility last year at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Franciscan Health in Crown Point. RIC, now called Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and Franciscan Health are severing ties.

Franciscan Alliance and the former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago will end their partnership later this year.

The two organizations had partnered since 2008 to provide physical rehab services at several Franciscan locations across Northwest Indiana.

The collaboration, which is set to end Sept. 30, had allowed RIC patients from the Region to do their follow-up care closer to home, and gave Franciscan access to RIC's expertise, technology and treatment protocols.

In late March, RIC moved into a new, $550 million downtown research hospital and rebranded as the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

"More of their attention and effort is being drawn into their new facility and its programming," Gene Diamond, Franciscan's vice president and chief operating officer of inpatient services, said of the rehab institute.

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"We mutually believed that their interest in pursuing their own strategic vision and our desire to conquer new fields meant we were on a path that was actually diverging. We decided this was as good a time as any to part company."

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Franciscan Health has locations at Franciscan hospitals and outpatient centers around the Region. Diamond said he expects those rehab facilities to remain open after the partnership ends.

The facilities employ Franciscan staff members, as well as some staffers from RIC who Franciscan has been compensating. Diamond said most of those people likely will be offered the opportunity to stay with Franciscan.

"We want to make sure to the best of our ability that this is invisible to our patients and they will not be affected in any way," he said.

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Health Reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.