Spaulding To Host ‘Boston Strong’ Celebration Tonight

The grand opening of the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown scheduled for April 21, 2013 has been postponed in light of recent events following the Boston Marathon bombing. Located at the corner of 16th Street and First Avenue, the new $  220 million, 300,000 sq. ft. medical facility will replace Spaulding’s current building at 125 Nashua St., Boston.

Though a community open house on Sunday was postponed Friday in the midst of a citywide lockdown and manhunt for suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, Spaulding Rehabilitation Center will go ahead with other plans to celebrate its grand opening in the Charlestown Navy Yard this weekend.

Spaulding representatives had planned to hold a small thank you gala for donors, staff and local and state officials Friday night, but the event was canceled. Following Friday’s arrest, an even bigger celebration has been organized for tonight, with a performance by the Boston Pops, speaker Mayor Tom Menino and a “rousing sing-a-long” of “Sweet Caroline”—a special nod to the city’s “Boston Strong” spirit.

“I’ve never been more proud to be part of Boston and Spaulding,” David Storto, president of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, said in a statement. “Our gathering tonight will reaffirm the spirit of resilience both in the people of our city and the drive of our patients and caregivers who never give up.”

The recently completed nine-story building at the corner of 16th Street and First Avenue in the Charlestown Navy Yard will provide a new home for the staff and patients currently at 125 Nashua St.

The Spaulding network, part of the Partners HealthCare system, offers in- and out-patient services for people recovering from and adapting to a range of issues, including spinal cord and brain injuries, strokes, amputations and burns.

Menino himself benefitted from Spaulding’s therapy services late last fall after he suffered a back compression fracture following other health problems.

“As a former patient myself, I can personally speak to the amazing care that happens at Spaulding,” Menino said in a statement released Saturday. “While this hospital has been planned for many years, as we all process these past few days, its importance to our region has never been more evident and necessary.”

Tonight’s event, which is closed to the public, will include a moment of silence, recognition of Spaulding clinicians—who were among the first responders at the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing—and a singing of “Sweet Caroline” to celebrate “the indomitable spirit of the people of Boston,” according to a statement.

The community open house and health fair, previously scheduled for Sunday, April 21, has been postponed. Spaulding spokesman Tim Sullivan said organizers hope to reschedule the event for later this spring, possibly in late May or June.

South End Patch