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Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital Celebrates 50 Years


WHEATON, Ill. -  In 1972, Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital admitted its first patient as a rehabilitation hospital. Over the past 50 years, Marianjoy has continued to evolve with state-of-the-art technology and innovative, evidence-based treatment to maximize the recovery and promote independence for patients. At the very heart of that care has remained a steadfast commitment to exceptional patient-centered care.

Prior to opening its doors, the concept for the hospital was developed by the Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary of Wheaton. The facility, originally built in the late 1960s, began as a care space for the Franciscan Sisters. In 1971, local physicians met with the Franciscan Sisters to discuss transforming Marianjoy into a physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital. At that time, there were only two rehabilitation hospitals in Illinois.

Today, Marianjoy offers clinical programs dedicated to brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions, neuromuscular and neurological conditions, and pediatrics. Each year, more than 25,000 patients receive Marianjoy inpatient care, outpatient therapy and physician services.

“Over the years, Marianjoy has helped to advance the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation within our communities and in the field at large,” says Anne Hubling, DNP, president and chief nurse executive of Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. “Marianjoy also is very rooted in Northwestern Medicine’s patients first mission. People who work here are driven by that and our patients feel it.”

In March 2016 — 44 years after Marianjoy first opened its doors — Marianjoy became part of Northwestern Medicine. Since then, the 125-bed hospital has seen significant expansion in technology and innovation.

The Tellabs Center for Neurorehabilitation and Neuroplasticity opened in September 2016.  The Center offers innovative technologies, like robotic exoskeletons, virtual reality and other devices, that tap into the guiding principles of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change or heal in response to experiences. Along with evidence-based approaches, the technology can positively impact the functional recovery of patients who have experienced a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions.

In 2017, the Aphasia Center was established to address the long-term challenges of aphasia — a communication disorder that results from damage to parts of the brain that control language.  Led by a speech-language pathologist with expertise in language disorders, small group sessions provide a comfortable and supportive environment for participants to practice their skills through real-life activities.

“People come to Marianjoy to heal after a traumatic or unexpected event in their life,” said Mahesh Ramachandran, MD, chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Hospital. “It is rewarding to see patients progress from their severe limitations to improved functional ability and a better quality of life.”

To learn more about the 50th Anniversary of Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, visit nm.org/marianjoy50.

To learn more about Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, please visit marianjoy.org.