Boston, MA – Stroke is one of the most prevalent diseases and is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke impacts people of all ages, often severely limiting survivor’s cognitive and physical abilities. For survivors of stroke, hope comes in the form of timely and intense rehabilitative care that helps patients regain their strength. Now, thanks to a $5 million donation from former patient Richard Ryan, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is setting its sights on transforming the future of stroke rehabilitation for future generations.
Richard “Rick” Ryan, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Computer Corporation of America, was used to a high-energy career and quickly managing complex issues. However, in the aftermath of suffering a major stroke, Rick became a patient at Spaulding on an inpatient and outpatient basis, where he found himself having to relearn the most basic of life’s daily skills and tasks.
Now five years since his stroke, Rick knows the importance of having quality care, and views giving back as an ongoing and important part of his own recovery. Rick has been volunteering as a stroke “Peer Visitor” on the Spaulding Stroke Unit, speaking and listening to patients and their families as they begin their own journeys of recovery. Today, Rick has chosen to give back even more through his planned gift of $5 million—the largest in Spaulding’s history—to support stroke treatment and research. In appreciation, Spaulding is naming the hospital unit where Rick was treated the Richard P. Ryan Stroke Care Unit in his honor. In addition to his planned gift, Rick is contributing funds to establish a new research fellowship that will immediately support and build Spaulding's pipeline of talented young investigators. It will be known as the Richard Ryan Fellow in Stroke Recovery Research.
Rick observed that, “You don’t understand how blessed we are in this region to have an institution at the level of Spaulding until you need it. For myself and my family, facing a stroke was an enormous challenge. Having the support and expertise of the team at Spaulding made all the difference in my recovery. To be able to give back with my time as a Peer Visitor and now through this gift is incredibly rewarding and I hope will help those that follow have an even better chance at recovery.”
“So much of the innovative programs and research at Spaulding depends on the support and generosity of our donors. For a former patient and volunteer like Rick to make such an historic legacy gift— so others can continue to benefit from the expertise of Spaulding clinicians and researchers—is especially profound. We are so grateful for Rick’s extraordinary commitment to our mission and for the tremendous impact this gift will have on future treatments and discoveries to improve the lives of stroke survivors,” said David E. Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
Spaulding is a national leader in stroke rehabilitative care with one of the largest programs serving young stroke survivors in the country. Spaulding is also home to the Spaulding Stroke Research and Recovery Institute, established in 2015 and led by national expert Dr. Randie Black-Schaffer.
Ryan's $5 million planned gift to fuel stroke recovery research comes on the heels of National Stroke Awareness Month and builds on two other recent record gifts to Spaulding--a $5 million gift last October from Paula Ness Speers and Mark Speers to spinal cord recovery research, and a $10 million gift last April from Scott Schoen and Nancy Adams to chronic pain recovery research and to launch Spaulding Research Institute. Led by Dr. Ross Zafonte, an internationally recognized leader in rehabilitation research, the new research institute, when fully funded, will be home to five new Discovery Centers for Recovery in the fields of Brain Injury and Concussion, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Musculoskeletal Injury and Chronic Pain.
To learn more about Spaulding’s fund raising programs, visit the donation pages or call the Spaulding Development office at (617) 952-6880.
About Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of Partners HealthCare, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, its main campus in Charlestown as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton, as well as twenty-five outpatient sites throughout Eastern Massachusetts. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report named Spaulding as the #4 rehabilitation hospital in the nation. Spaulding is one of the few hospitals in the U.S. to be awarded the prestigious Model Systems designation in all three areas of care—Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Burn Injury—selected by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, Spaulding has been recognized by Doximity Residency Navigator as the #1 residency program in rehabilitation in the nation and the #1 residency program for research output. Spaulding also was recognized by the 2017 Disability Equality Index as a “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion”. For more information, please visit www.spauldingrehab.org.
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