After death of CEO Joanne Smith, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab names 2 new leaders

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Chicago-based Shirley Ryan AbilityLab announced the appointments of Peggy Kirk as president and CEO and Nancy Paridy as president and chief administrative officer. Their appointments became effective immediately, according to a news release shared with Becker's Sept. 30.

Ms. Kirk and Ms. Paridy succeed CEO Joanne Smith, MD, who died in September following treatment for cancer.

Ms. Kirk, who joined the organization, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, in 1981 as a nurse on the spinal cord injury unit, has served as COO and senior vice president since 2007, the news release said.

Ms. Paridy, who is an attorney, established the organization's office of the general counsel more than 26 years ago. Since 2016, she has served as chief administrative officer and senior vice president, overseeing the organization's legal matters and human resources, the news release said.

Both leaders played integral roles in conceptualizing the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab's $550 million, 1.2 million-square-foot facility, which opened in 2017.

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