AbilityLab To Reflect New Research Hospital's Wider Mission For Patients

CHICAGO (CBS) — Doctors, patients, and staff from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago have been preparing to move into a new $550 million facility in Streeterville, which will feature a new name for the renowned hospital.

Officials dedicated the new Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the bitter cold Thursday at 355 E. Erie St.

AbilityLab President and CEO Dr. Joanne Smith said the old name didn’t fit the new mission.

“We knew the right words would help us to shift our focus from a process of rehabilitation to real tangible outcomes for patients. We declared that our vision would be to advance human ability,” she said.

The new approach at AbilityLab is called “translational research.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the mission and methods matter to the patients.

“People who do not have hope, but leave with hope; people who see their potential become a reality,” he said.

The new hospital officially opens March 25.

The facility sits on what once was the studios for CBS 2 and WBBM Newsradio.

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