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Spaulding Rehabilitation Network History

Spaulding Hospital Boston serves as the flagship for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, together with fellow rehabilitation facility Spaulding Hospital Cape Cod, a long-term acute-care facilities (Spaulding Hospital Cambridge), a skilled nursing facility (Spaulding Hospital Brighton) and an outpatient network of 25 centers throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

On April 27, 2013 Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital begins a new chapter in its history with the new replacement facility in the Charlestown Navy Yard. This 132 bed, patient-centered facility is recognized for its green design with a LEED Gold certification as well as serving as model of inclusive design.

Spaulding is one of only a select few sites to hold Model System distinctions awarded by NIDRR in Spinal Cord Injury, Burn Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury simultaneously.

In a study co-led by Dr. Joe Giacino, Director of Rehabilitation Neuropsychology at Spaulding, Amantadine, a drug commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease, was found to improve function in severely brain-injured people.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network partners with Ekso Bionics to test their new exoskeleton, known as Ekso. The device gives people with paralysis a new form of mobility.  Originally designed for our military soldiers, the exoskeleton helps support a person while walking.  Spaulding and Berkeley Bionics incorporated this technology into our therapy program in 2012. 

The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is formed, bringing together world-class facilities, services, and caregivers for patients who need in-hospital or outpatient rehabilitation care for a wide variety of illnesses or injuries.

Spaulding becomes the first private hospital in the country to admit a soldier for treatment of traumatic brain injury; subsequent success in care leads Spaulding to treat several soldiers in the following years and collaborate closely with the U.S. Department of Defense as clinical consultants and research partners.

Spaulding introduces the Lokomat robotic gait training devices developed by Hocoma with collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Spaulding’s Motion Analysis Lab to help patients regain their ability to walk.

The RHCI for Children Eileen M. Ward Rehabilitation Center – now known as Spaulding for Children Eileen M. Ward Rehabilitation Center Sandwich – opens its doors, serving as a regional resource dedicated to promoting the physical, psychological, social, and academic growth needs of children with a wide range of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities.

Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital joins Partners Continuing Care and becomes affiliated with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands, Partners Home Care, the North End Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and The Boston Center.

The Charles Weingarten Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program begins water and land recreational sports activities at the new Spaulding Pier at Nashua Street, giving patients and participants new ways to recover and enjoy recreation.

The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands joins the newly formed Partners Continuing Care division of the Partners HealthCare System.

North Shore Medical Center and Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital are the first community-based system to become a full member of Partners HealthCare.

The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands opens its doors. Over the next 10 years, the hospital establishes rehabilitation care satellite centers throughout the Cape region.

Spaulding becomes home to the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, supporting clinical excellence and breakthrough research and serving as training ground for the next generation of leaders in rehabilitation medicine.

Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital becomes part of Salem Hospital Corporation, later known as North Shore Medical Center, which then is the first community-based hospital system to become part of the world-renowned Partners HealthCare System in 1996.

The first off campus outpatient center opens in Medford Square. Today SRN has twenty three outpatient centers from Cape Ann to Cape Cod.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Hospital is renamed Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to honor the visionary, Josiah A. Spaulding, who helped lead the crusade to build the rehabilitation hospital.

Founded in 1983 as the North End Nursing Home, the North End Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is a 140-bed, not-for-profit skilled nursing facility that offers short- term care and long-term care for older adults.

In response to concerns by the Massachusetts Department of Health about an increasing shortage of rehabilitation services in the Cape Cod region, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is selected to develop a new hospital there, which becomes the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands.

After it was determined in 1970 that the Salem Hospital for Contagious Diseases needed to be rebuilt, the Dr. J. Robert Shaughnessy Rehabilitation Hospital/Dr. Israel Kaplan Public Health Center is dedicated in Salem. It becomes known over time as Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital and is formally renamed in 1981.

The work of Josiah A. Spaulding and other civic leaders lead to the opening of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Hospital, after Congress passed Medicare providing benefits for inpatient rehabilitation to all citizens for the first time.

The Boston Center for Rehabilitative and Sub-acute Care (Spaulding - West Roxbury) introduced a new era in elder care when it opened its doors in 1955. As the first provider in the region to offer patients an alternative to a lengthy hospitalization, the Center focused on short-term care and rehabilitation. In 1994, The Boston Center proudly became a complete post-acute continuum care center, catering to the needs of any age adult in need of interim care, rehabilitation, palliative care.

The Salem Hospital for Contagious Diseases is renamed as the Salem Health Department Hospital.

The hospital in The Willows burns and is rebuilt in 1860 as the Salem Hospital for Contagious Diseases.

The hospital in Great Pasture for inoculations for small pox is destroyed and rebuilt soon after in the lower part of The Neck, now known as The Willows.

The history of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care North Shore in Salem – formerly Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital – goes back to when a hospital is put in place on Cat Island for inoculations against small pox.


Spaulding Now Newsletter
Spaulding Now Newsletter

The quarterly publication of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine.

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