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One of the Largest Gifts in NCH History Leads to Dedication of John M. Boler Center for Rehabilitation and New, Cutting-Edge Technologies

December 12, 2019

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes; Medical Director of John M. Boler Center for Rehabilitation, Rahul Sharma, M.D.; the Boler Family; NCH President and CEO, Stephen Scogna; and Chairperson of the NCH Board of Directors, Diane Hill.

Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) Foundation held a special dedication of the John M. Boler Center for Rehabilitation on Thursday, December 5. A donation of $5 million was made by the family of the late John Boler, in appreciation of the outstanding care John received.

“My dad was very fragile, but he did make it back home. We wouldn’t have gotten the extra time we had with him if it wasn’t for the integrated teams in the NCH system,” said Matt Boler, son of John Boler and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boler Company. “In my father’s case, it was so efficient to have the same doctors that took care of him in the ICU, be able to continue to follow him while he was in rehab. That was pretty powerful.”

The Boler Family Foundation gift, one of the largest ever in NCH history, will be utilized to support state-of-the-art technologies, education and world-class rehabilitation care.

“We wanted to expand the capabilities of the rehab center while also helping to make it available to everyone in our community,” said Boler. “We saw firsthand what this kind of rehab care needs to look like, what its capabilities need to be, and we are partnering with NCH to make them available to everybody.”

The donation enabled new robotic, bionic and virtual reality technologies, which are proven to improve patient outcomes and independence. Some of the equipment on display for the reception included the Lokomat Pro and Nanos. These are highly-intensive, robotic gait rehab systems for patients with severe neurological impairments that impede normal walking.

The Bioness L300 Go is the world’s first Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) system that integrates smart 3D motion detection. Through an adaptive learning algorithm, it detects gait events and provides stimulation exactly when needed so patients can clear stairs, sustain consistent walking speeds and easily navigate uneven terrain.

The Robotic Armeo Spring and Senso devices provide state-of-the-art upper extremity rehabilitation for highly-advanced arm and hand impairments. They use sensors and algorithms to recognize when a patient is unable to carry out a movement and assists their arm and hand as necessary.

“These technologies, made possible through the generous Boler family donation, have made us a world-class center for rehabilitation,” said Steve Scogna, NCH president and CEO. This new equipment was one of the key factors to NCH receiving the highest level of the prestigious, three-year accreditation by CARF International (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).

Among the other technologies this gift will provide are the C-Mill, a virtual reality treadmill for walking and balance training, and the Alter G Bionic Leg, which is the first battery-powered, wearable, lower-extremity robotic trainer that provides power assistance during untethered training in the clinic. Additionally, the construction of an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) apartment at our outpatient facility will simulate a real-life apartment space to help patients relearn skills in a safe and supportive home-like environment. A driving simulation system will also allow patients to practice driving a car in a safe environment and regain independence.

The gift also created annual scholarship awards for staff in Rehab, Intensive Care and Respiratory Care. It was important to the Boler family that the nurses and care staff, who spent the most time with John and family, were specifically recognized. These scholarships will allow the care teams to remain at the forefront of knowledge and advancement while serving patients and their families.

“My dad was a member of this community for 45 years and he would be very proud to know that through his efforts and resources, these assets are now available to everyone,” Boler said. “We are honored to be able to support the vision that NCH has for this center.”

The John M. Boler Center for Rehabilitation is located in Northwest Community Hospital at 800 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights, and is now accepting new patients. For more information about rehab services or to schedule an appointment, call 847-618-6716 or visit