Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Gala






As patients of all ages move into Chicago’s most dazzling new building on March 25, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, recognized as the world leader in rehabilitation, will officially assume its new name.

And if the walls of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab could talk, they would share the enthusiasm of the 750 guests at its March 10 opening gala who donated $8 million to insure that the lab’s revolutionary new approaches to be delivered to patients will extend far into the future.


Isabelle, Lydia, and Patrick Ryan, Jr. (Chicago); Corbett Ryan (Chicago), at front; with Pat and Shirley Ryan (Winnetka).

Gala co-chairs Dr. Joanne C. Smith, President and CEO, and husband, Rory Repicky; Shirley and Pat Ryan; Lori and Board Chair Jude Reyes; Lindy and Michael Keiser; and Sheli and Burton Rosenberg, welcomed guests. These attendees were then granted a tour of the space’s six floors filled with color, views, and light—and the most cutting-edge technology.


Dr. Joanne Smith (Hinsdale), President and CEO of RIC/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab; Kim Duchossois (Barrington), Ashley Duchossois Joyce (Chicago), and Mary Ann Roeser (Crystal Lake).


Daniel D. Dolan, Jr. (Lake Forest), King Harris (Chicago), and Jude Reyes (Florida).


For the dinner portion, 750 guests dined across six of the hospital’s floors, smack in the middle of three separate ability labs—applied research and therapeutic spaces in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab where clinicians, scientists, innovators, and technologists will work together in the same space, 24/7, surrounding patients and applying (or “translating”) research real time. Gala attendees got a bird’s eye view of the hospital through a live tour, in which different members of RIC’s leadership team broadcasted from different floors to showcase spaces and demo state-of-the-art technology.

Broadcasting on each floor were members of the RIC’s Leadership Team, welcoming guests to three separate ability labs. Clinicians, scientists, innovators, and technologists will work together across five labs, applying research in real time. Over 800,000 square feet of its total 1.2 million will be dedicated to clinical research. There are 242 patient beds in the new facility—70 more than at the RIC, with ability to increase by over 100 beds.


Keith Goldstein (Chicago), Connie Coolidge (Kenilworth), and Anne Reyes (Florida).

Members of the host committee included Marcie and Nick Alexos, Mary and Tom Bagley, Brenda Barnes, Jodi Block and Barry Malkin, Connie and David Coolidge, Renee and Lester Crown, The Crown Family, Catherine and Jim Denny, Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, Craig Duchossois, Kim Duchossois, Dayle and Ed Fortino, Jacky and Michael Ferro, Cindy and Chris Galvin, Weezie and John Gates, Douglas Gray, Ken Griffin, Caryn and King Harris, David Kabiller, Becky and Lester Knight, Lori Komisar and Morris Silverman, Janet and Michael Krasny, James Litinsky, Karen and Stephen Malkin, Joanie and Andy McKenna, Mayari Pritzker, Anne and Chris Reyes, Hope and Tom Reynolds, Cari and Michael Sacks, Muneer Satter, Carole and Gordon Segal, Sue and Tim Sullivan, Patricia and Ronald Taylor, Tina and Byron Trott, and Cate and Rick Waddell. The committee also included The Mary and Daniel Dolan Family Foundation, The Christopher and Susan Gust Foundation, The Lavin Family Supporting Foundation, and The Pritzker Foundation.


Stephanie and John Harris (Chicago) with Caryn Harris (Chicago).

A common thread among those in the crowd that evening—including Monika Betts, widow of the internationally revered and longtime RIC President and CEO, Dr. Henry Betts—was a longtime devotion to and appreciation of this important institution, feelings that are certain to be shared by so many more as the AbilityLab’s doors open later this month.


Kelly and Michael Golden (Winnetka) with Pamela Sage (Chicago).


Kevin and Kristi Brown (Kenilworth) with Jamie and Kathleen Cowie (Kenilworth).


Cheryl Coleman and Ron Katz (Hinsdale).


Ron and Patricia Taylor (Burr Ridge).


Genevieve, Mary, Dan, and Caroline Dolan (Lake Forest).


Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle (Chicago), and King Harris (Chicago).


Fr. Pat McGrath (Evanston) with Sue and Tim Sullivan (Wilmette).


Lee and Kitty Freidheim (Chicago).


Britt Taner (Chicago), Carrie Grant (Chicago), and Clea Costa Van Voorhis (Chicago).


Ron and Julie Allen (Chicago).


Jim and Jacque Nygaard (Winnetka).


John and Myra Reilly (Lake Forest); Pat and Shirley Ryan (Winnetka); and Rick Lieber (Chicago), Chief Scientific Officer at RIC/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.


Nora Daley Conroy (Chicago), Andy McKenna (Winnetka), and Former Mayor Richard Daley (Chicago).


Morris Silverman and Lori Komisar (Winnetka).