CHICAGO (WLS) --The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago moved patients to its new building in the city's Streeterville neighborhood on Saturday, a half-billion facility called the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
Kelly Hogan, 25, of Chicago, has been undergoing treatment at the rehabilitation institute since February when she severely injured her spine in a snowmobiling accident in Wisconsin. She hasn't been able to walk since, but on Saturday she and other patients rolled into the new state-of-the-art facility.
"I was not expecting a corner room with a lake view," she said. "I had an idea of what it would be modern and stuff but this is so nice."
The new Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is a 1.2-million-square-foot space, located at 355 E. Erie St., making it the largest rehabilitation hospital in the country. Patients will have access to cutting-edge technology because they will be side-by-side with researchers.
"There's no other hospital where you can find scientists living 24/7 with the patients in the same space," said Dr. Joanne Smith, CEO and president of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
The facility will treat more than 55,000 patients with their rehabilitation every year, and has 242 private patient rooms, with opportunity for future expansion.