Fast Facts

La Rabida Children’s Hospital
6501 South Promontory Drive, Chicago, IL  60649
Year established
Corporation type and governance
    La Rabida is a privately-owned, not-for-profit 501-C corporation
Facility type
Pediatric hospital specializing in family centered treatment of chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, and programs for children who have experienced trauma and abuse.  
Overview of services and programs
La Rabida provides inpatient and outpatient services for children who require:
• Medical management of a chronic illness
• Transitional care following  hospitalization for premature birth, traumatic injury, 
surgery or cancer treatment
• Early invention to minimize the risk of developmental delays
• Rehabilitation services including physical, occupational and speech therapy
• Technology 
Patient Demographics
• 74% African American
• 11%  Hispanic
• 8% Caucasian
• 5% Unknown
• 2% Other 
Hospital statistics        
• 49 licensed inpatient beds
• 5-bed urgent care unit
• Approximately 480 employees
Notable Facts
• Only hospital of its kind in the Chicago area
• Illinois’ most Medicaid dependent hospital as a percent of patient revenue
• First pediatric diabetes program in the Chicago area certified by the American Diabetes Association
• First children’s hospital recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its medical home programs defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as “continuous, comprehensive, accessible, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective to every child and adolescent.”
• Expert in the care management of children with technology dependencies i.e. tracheostomies and ventilators
• Model provider of comprehensive services to children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect. La Rabida’s Chicago Child Trauma Center is the only agency in Chicago that specializes in trauma-focused assessment and psychotherapy for the full range of potentially traumatic events experienced by children.
• Internationally recognized for its role in the eradication of rheumatic fever in the 1950s
Specialty Services
La Rabida meets the challenges of children who have medically complex conditions, offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services that include:
Chronic Conditions Developmental Disabilities and Neuromuscular Disorders
✓ Allergies and Asthma ✓ Cerebral Palsy
✓Bronchopulmanary Dysplasia ✓ Down Syndrome
✓ Diabetes ✓ Muscular Dystrophy
✓ Chronic Lung Disease ✓ Spina Bifida
✓ Sickle Cell Disease ✓ Other syndromes and neuromuscular disorders
Interventions, Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Trauma and Abuse
✓ Developmental delays ✓ Physical abuse
✓ Failure to thrive ✓ Sexual abuse
✓ Acquired brain injury ✓ Traumatic Injury
✓ Burn injury ✓ Witness to violence trauma
✓ Cardiac Care  
✓ Gastrostomy-recovery  
✓ Gastrostomy-tubes  
✓ IV antibiotic treatment  
✓ Post surgery recovery  
✓ Stroke  
✓ TPN dependency  
✓ Tracheostomy  
✓ Ventilator dependency  


Other Services
La Rabida treats the whole child, offering services that go
beyond medical needs to include:
✓ Transition services
✓ After school tutoring
✓ Specialty car seat loans

Executive Leadership
• Brenda Wolf, President and CEO
• Aden Henry, RN, MHA, Vice President, Patient Care Servicesr
• Mark Renfree, CFO, Vice President, Administration
• Anna Carvalho, Vice President, Strategic Integration

History of La Rabida 
Government of Spain erected a replica of the monastery La Rabida at the Chicago World’s Fair to house artifacts from Christopher Columbus’ 1492 expedition. The exhibition hall stood just north of the hospital’s present location between Jackson Harbor and Lake Michigan.
At the close of the exposition, Spain donated its building for use as a fresh-air sanitarium for children who needed an escape from crowded conditions and pollution.
A volunteer group of women raised funds, recruited volunteer physicians and opened the Jackson Park Sanitarium to serve poor children, who suffered from intestinal disorders resulting from unsanitary living conditions and improperly stored food and milk.
The Sanitarium officially formed the Women’s Board, comprised of 17 local women who held fundraisers to help meet the hospital’s needs.
The facility burned to the ground, though services continued in a “hospital without walls” throughout the community at various locations.
La Rabida Jackson Park Sanitarium reopened with 30 beds and a waiting list. Most patients were being treated for rheumatic fever, a condition of the heart and muscles.
La Rabida formed a partnership with the University of Chicago to research ways to eradicate rheumatic fever.  During this time the hospital captured international recognition for research that led to the eradication of the disease, for which most patients had been treated for up to five months. The hospital then turned its attention to treat chronic illnesses of childhood.
The Gertrude Frank Pick Building, named for the wife of a physician who served La Rabida’s children, opens at the south end of the original facility. This 13,000-square-foot wing primarily serves outpatient and support services on the main and lower levels.
The Richard Finnegan Memorial Building, named for board president and former Sun Times editor, is dedicated at the north end of the original facility. All research and support services were housed in this 17,000-square-foot wing. It also housed a morgue. Today, offices and support services reside in the Finnegan building.
Hormone treatment and community education helped control rheumatic fever, which was no longer considered a threat by this time. La Rabida turned its attention to the treatment of chronic illness and disabilities. Patient rooms were added to the main level.
Child Life Pavilion wing added to house classroom and recreational activities while children are in the hospital. The room provides a scenic view of Lake Michigan. 
Nautical-themed S.S. La Rabida added with 49 beds and a colorful rotunda on the upper level. Each room was designed with a port hole to give young patients a waterside view.
“South Deck,” unit of the inpatient wings opens. The $5 million remodeling project converted the 10-double occupancy rooms to single occupancy. 
The new outpatient center opened, welcoming patients and families to a 13,000 square foot building is one story looking out over Lake Michigan. It houses 18 exam rooms. 
The entire $16 million project, which also includes updating aging infrastructure, was financed by fundraising dollars and state capital funding.
Today La Rabida Children’s Hospital provides and coordinates cost-effective care for patients with lifelong medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cerebral palsy, diabetes, Down syndrome and sickle cell disease, as well developmental disabilities. Experts provide holistic care through an interdisciplinary team approach. La Rabida is the only hospital of its kind in the Chicago area.