By: David E. Storto
Yesterday marked the first year anniversary of our historic move into the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown. It was a bright and sunny crisp Saturday morning when hundreds of staff from across the Spaulding Network and Partners HealthCare at Home met at 4:30 AM to orchestrate what turned out to be a flawless move of 112 patients from Nashua Street to Charlestown.
After more than a decade of planning for the financing, design and construction of the hospital, and following two years of planning for the transition of operations into a new environment, it was an extraordinarily proud and defining moment for all of us. It was also a milestone event for our entire field, nationally and internationally, as we made a bold statement about the importance and value of rehabilitation medicine within a health care community where rehabilitation care has not been well understood or fully appreciated.
Hailed as a model of inclusive design and sustainability, Spaulding’s state of the art hospital opened 12 days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, just in time to care for 32 of the most catastrophically injured survivors. For all of the wrong reasons, this tragedy also afforded us the opportunity to heighten the awareness among the general public about the essential nature of rehabilitation care and its positive outcome for patients and their families.
Our mantra, “find your strength,” has never been more appropriate. The Spaulding Network and Partners HealthCare at Home were there to help the Marathon survivors find their strength, and we will be here for every patient who needs us in the future thanks to the great people working at Spaulding who support our precious mission to improve quality of life for people recovering from or learning to live fully with illness, injury and disability.
Today, one year after opening our new hospital to our patients and the broader community, we’re taking a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished and the role that all our staff have played. Whether a larger or smaller role, it truly took a community of thousands of staff and trustees from across the entire Partners HealthCare System to make possible this beacon of hope for all of our courageous patients and their families.
Together we have affirmed that the once-abandoned Navy Yard is still a place where strength can be recovered, damage can be repaired and defeat is never an option!