Fellow members of FaceBook Nation, have you ever had a crisis of faith? Have you ever wondered whether it makes any sense at all to classify everyone in the world into only two categories: “friends” and strangers? Well, the other day I was a) feeling disillusioned with FB and b) reading about the 1-year anniversary of Google Plus, so I decided to pay Google a visit. Although I haven’t yet decided to defect from FB, I have to confess that Google Plus has captured my attention on several fronts. I particularly like the site’s “circles” function, which got me thinking about Spaulding…, and the variety of relationships that every hospital strives to share with its community.
Beyond caring for Charlestown residents during episodes of specific medical need, Spaulding hopes that you will consider us as your coach and ally when it comes to matters of healthy living, wellness and injury prevention. In turn, we will always strive to be a good neighbor and a fair employer.
So how exactly do these “circles” play out day to day? Well, one of the best examples I can think of is Spaulding’s longstanding collaboration and friendship with restauranteur John Moore. John is a former patient, a very generous donor, and a soon-to-be neighbor.
As owner of the Navy Yard Bistro, John makes the best ginger sake salmon on the planet. He’s such a pillar of the community, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him through our service together on the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.
Of course John’s connection to Spaulding had actually started many years before my foodie-crush on his salmon.
In 2010, John was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare and debilitating disease in which the body’s immune system actually attacks the central nervous system. There is really no drug therapy for this condition; recovery depends almost exclusively upon intensive physical therapy. During the worst of his illness, John could barely move at all. After 4 months as an in-patient at Spaulding, he was well enough to return to his family, his home, and his bistro in Charlestown (You can hear John describe his experiences as a Spaulding patient on the attached video.).
The hospital-patient relationship between us could have ended on a high note right then and there. But John really believes in giving back, so our circles kept multiplying. Last year he hosted a Boston Marathon fundraising dinner for Spaulding runner Ashley Bronson and established the Nerves of Steel Foundation to support the construction of our new facility. And this Thursday, June 28th, he’s hosting a put-put golf tournament at the Mariott on Tudor Wharf to benefit our work [If you’d like to play, please email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP!]. Next year he’s even planning to open a new restaurant right next to Spaulding in the Navy Yard.
So you see, John’s illness was just one significant chapter within a much broader story. Many of you know him already, but if you haven’t met him yet, I hope you will soon. He’s just the kind of guy you’ll want to have in your circles.