MISHAWAKA - Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance will end its partnership with the former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in September. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the rehab facilities and outpatient centers in which RIC currently operates are expected to remain open.

RIC currently provides physical rehab services at Franciscan locations throughout northwest Indiana. The institute was rebranded as the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in March after moving into a $550 million downtown research hospital, according to the publication.

"More of their attention and effort is being drawn into their new facility and its programming," Gene Diamond, vice president and chief operating officer of inpatient services at Franciscan, told The Times. "We mutually believed that their interest in pursuing their own strategic vision and our desire to conquer new fields meant we were on a path that was actually diverging. We decided this was as good a time as any to part company."

The partnership between the two organizations dates back to 2008. Diamond says the Franciscan facilities in which RIC operates employ Franciscan staff members and RIC staffers who have been compensated by Franciscan. He tells the publication most of those employees will be given the chance to stay with Franciscan.