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Our History of Rehabilitation Care

Since the hospital that would later be known as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital began treating patients in 1970, the Spaulding commitment to excellence and innovation has remained a constant. Today’s Spaulding Rehabilitation, which includes a second rehabilitation hospital, a long-term acute-care hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and an outpatient network with locations throughout Eastern Massachusetts, enjoys a national reputation. Its rich history of achievement reflects the expertise of its members and the legacies of forerunner facilities. United by a shared mission, vision and values, Spaulding Rehabilitation clinicians are transforming lives by providing exceptional patient care, educating the next generation of rehabilitation specialists, and advancing research.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital achieves its highest rank ever, #2, in “America’s Best Hospitals” by US News and World Report.

Spaulding Rehabilitation is recognized as a top scoring company in the 2018 Disability Equality Index.

The Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is honored as the top residency program in the US in the newest 2017/18 Doximity Residency Navigator.

Spaulding Rehab takes pride in the filming of Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, hosting the US movie premier at our Charlestown hospital.

Spaulding launches the McGraw Center for Adaptive Sports at Nickerson State Park, a first-of-its kind collaboration between Spaulding Rehabilitation and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Universal Access Program. Funded by a generous donor, the Center offers a model for a unique public-private partnership to improve access to state recreational lands for persons of all abilities.

Spaulding Cape Cod puts into operation a 1,100 kW solar array that will reduce the hospital’s greenhouse emissions and contribute green energy into the power grid.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod receives a three-year accreditation for its inpatient rehabilitation and stroke specialty programs from CARF International, an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services provided at rehabilitation facilities.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod is awarded an Accountable Care Compass Award from the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA).

In response to increasing demand for its services, Spaulding Cape Cod embarks on an expansion to add 6000 sq. ft. to the hospital, increasing access to inpatient, outpatient and physician services, and adding dedicated space for wellness programs.

The Dr. Bernard R. and Edna M. Sears Adaptive Hockey Program is created through a generous donation by Edna Sears of Boston. This donation allows the clinical and adaptive sports experts at Spaulding to engage the community with disabilities by introducing the sport of sled hockey for all age levels and abilities

On April 27, 2013 Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital begins a new chapter with a new 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 being 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 people with severe brain injuries.

Spaulding Rehabilitation 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 soldiers, the exoskeleton helps support a person while walking. Spaulding and Berkeley Bionics incorporated this technology into our therapy program in 2012.

Spaulding Rehabilitation 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.

Spaulding Cape Cod establishes the Parkinson’s Center for Comprehensive Care to address an urgent need on Cape Cod.

RHCI partners with Bioness to become the first hospital in New England to offer breakthrough treatment with the NESS H200 neuroprosthetic device to improve hand function after stroke and brain injury. The hospital introduces many other advanced technologies to facilitate and accelerate neuro-recovery in following years.

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 became 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 Spaulding Rehabilitation has 25 outpatient centers.

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- and long-term care for older adults.

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 provisions 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 or palliative care.

The hospital in The Willows burns down 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.

A hospital is put in place on Cat Island for inoculations against small pox, beginning the long history of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.