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Marianjoy Selected as National Test Site for Innovative Rehabilitation Technology

May 15, 2012 (Wheaton, IL) – Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital recently acquired an Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical, or "ICARE" system, which helps people with mobility limitations, such as those who have had a stroke or multiple sclerosis, improve their ability to walk and enhance their physical fitness.

The Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, invented the ICARE system with a $600,000 grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). Madonna selected Marianjoy as one of the first rehabilitation hospitals in the nation to use the patented ICARE in research and therapy with patients.

"I am very pleased to partner with Marianjoy – one of the leading rehabilitation hospitals in the country," said Marsha Lommel, President and CEO of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. "The ICARE system offers a tremendous advancement in rehabilitation therapy and increases patients' access to effective and affordable gait therapy."

The ICARE allows people to exercise using a movement pattern that is similar to walking. It provides automated propulsion so it is easy to begin and maintain exercise on the elliptical. The motorized control has a sensor that adjusts the level of support during exercise, so if a person needs more support, the power automatically increases, as the person needs less support, the motorized power decreases. The ICARE includes many features, such as an adjustable height seat, overhead body weight support system, ramp, wheelchair platform, clinician platform, modified foot pedals, stairs and grab bars that greatly increase accessibility for individuals who are weak, deconditioned, or who have balance problems.

"Marianjoy is at the forefront of rehabilitation and the ICARE system is an important addition to our service line, especially as we move toward state-of-the-art Assistive Rehabilitation Technology Institute, which is one of the major elements of our Legacy Campaign," said Kathleen Yosko, President and CEO of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital. "This progressive technology will undoubtedly enhance patient outcomes and improve the quality of life for people with disabling conditions."


Led by renowned gait specialist Dr. Judith Burnfield, researchers at the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna spent three years developing the ICARE in collaboration with co-investigator Carl Nelson, PhD, from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

After meeting with clinical team members at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and providing training on therapeutic applications for the ICARE, Dr. Burnfield commented, “It was a great experience to work with such a dynamic group of therapists. Their commitment to their patients is exceptional. It is wonderful to see them integrating the ICARE as a resource to address the walking and cardiovascular fitness needs of the patients they serve.”

"This advanced technology will enhance our ability to help many people with a broad range of diagnoses,” confirmed Dr. Kathleen Ruroede, Vice President of Clinical Outcomes and Research at Marianjoy. “The ICARE system will also allow for multi-institutional collaboration and research opportunities to further advance the field physical medicine and rehabilitation.”

To learn more about the ICARE system, please visit

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About Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital is a nonprofit teaching hospital in Wheaton, Illinois, dedicated to the delivery of physical medicine and rehabilitation programs including stroke, neuromuscular, orthopedic, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and pediatrics. Marianjoy’s $60 million, 120 private room replacement hospital is a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the naturally holistic approach to rehabilitation. Founded in 1972, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital maintains an extensive network of inpatient, subacute, and outpatient sites and physician clinics throughout the Chicago area. Marianjoy is a member of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.