All of us at Spaulding are saddened by the news of Mayor Menino’s death. We send our heartfelt and deepest condolences to his wonderful wife Angela and their entire Menino family. To the Spaulding community he was many things; a patient, a leader, advocate and most importantly a friend.
Mayor Menino’s accomplishments for the city of Boston are far too vast to list. His lifelong compassion for others and commitment to equality included advocating for the community of people with disabilities. Well before he would ever need any of our care himself he fought to ensure that Spaulding would thrive as one of Boston’s premiere health care institutions and that all patients who left our hospital would enter a city full of access and opportunity.
Of the many moments that I cherish with Mayor Menino, none can compare to his leadership and counsel during the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15, 2013. Spaulding was preparing to move to the long planned state-of-the-art hospital in the Charlestown Navy Yard when the crisis occurred. Like many immediately after the Bombing, we were evaluating the road ahead. I talked often to the Mayor in the days that followed and his focus and leadership was clear, the move to the new Spaulding must move ahead and be celebrated as planned. Like many other times, he was proven correct as the opening and celebration of the new Spaulding was a momentous and defining moment in our history. As always he was present, he was with us at our gala celebration and with us on opening day to thank staff and welcome patients, many of whom were survivors of the Marathon Bombings. The poignancy of a new Spaulding was only magnified in the following months as we had the honor of playing a central role in the healing of some of the most severely injured.
Next to the new Spaulding in Charlestown is the most perfect tribute I can think of for our good friend. Menino Park is Boston’s first fully inclusive playground and park allowing children of all abilities to engage in recreation and have fun together. The park was the vision of Mayor Menino and is one of the most wonderful gifts he could give to Spaulding and the entire local Charlestown community and more broadly for the region. Each day everyone at Spaulding can look out and see this beautiful addition to the community with our patients and their families, our visitors and throngs of others from the community engage in play to discover what is truly possible for them, all with a stunning view of the city he helped shape.
While we mourn this loss, we take solace in the example we have been given to follow. It is incumbent upon all of us to continue to blaze the path of equality and inclusion Mayor Menino set forth. Continuing his work is the best possible honor we can pay to a man who devoted so much to ensuring our city’s success.
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners Continuing Care