Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Team


Our Commitment to Diversity

At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, We Celebrate Diversity in All Forms


Our organization was established nearly 70 years ago to care for a vulnerable and disenfranchised group of people — patients with some of the most severe, complex conditions. Our founders aligned our mission with the Civil Rights Movement, embracing the tenets of equality and access for all. Then, in 2009, when we set out to reimagine our organization into the first-ever translational research hospital, we built Shirley Ryan AbilityLab on the same foundational tenets of acceptance — principles our employees continue to hold dear.

Our key insight, then and now: To advance human ability, we must embrace humanity with love, empathy and compassion. We must acknowledge our fundamental cultural, spiritual and individual differences, and the ways in which they shape and influence our delivery of quality care in the 21st century. We must build a team that is reflective of the patients we serve and our world.

Today, we care for patients from around the country and the globe, regardless of insurance, and provide direct financial assistance to patients in need each year through our Charity Care Program. We also recruit team members who represent diverse backgrounds and functional expertise. We have cultivated our organization with a special formula that is truly unique.

We Champion Ideas, Inclusivity and Action


Culture of compassion, kindness, respect and dignity. Caring for others is not just a shared responsibility — it is a collective duty. Our I.D.E.A Council was born of a listening tour led by Joanne C. Smith, MD, former President and CEO, in which she connected with team members in intimate conversations on race, life experiences and ways to build a better Shirley Ryan AbilityLab together. The Council, whose acronym stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action, serves as an organizational sounding board and action engine. It is led for and by our employees — team members of various races, faiths, ethnicities and sexual orientations — steering initiatives that help us live our values. Current I.D.E.A. Council priorities are centered around staff recruitment, education and career development.

Workforce diversity. At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, we embrace team members’ ideas and encourage career conversations so that all employees have an opportunity to deepen their experience and grow. Those who join our team are part of our life-changing Mission and Vision. What’s more, they work in a truly inclusive environment where diversity and equity are championed. Visit our careers page to explore current openings.

To continue to lead in this field of medicine, we realize our words must align with our actions.

We welcome into our community all those who share a commitment to our deeply held values, and to advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion!


Statement on Diversity


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