Dr. Howard Gardner said that when he first proposed the idea to create a rehabilation hospital outside of Boston after he treated Vietnam War veterans who were paralyzedhe didn't get much support.
More than 40 years later, Gardner, the chairman of the Northeast Rehabilitation Board of Directors and its founder, celebrated the opening of the company's third rehabilitation center in New Hampshire at Pease International Tradeport on Thursday morning.
Gardner gave most of the credit for the Pease facility to John Prochilo's, Northeast's CEO.
"The state-of-the-art building, and the physicians, nurses and staff that will serve our patients are dedicated to providing inpatient rehabiliation programs that are tailored to the unique needs of each individual," Prochilo said.
Here at the new Pease facility, the goal is to help patients who have suffered brain trauma injuries or illnesses to realize their full potential so they can resume independent lives, he said. Thanks to the support that Northeast received from the state, the Pease Development Authority and the City of Portsmouth, Prochilo said the Pease facility is now a reality.
Portsmouth Mayor Tom Ferrini said many Seacoast area residents will benefit from the Northeast facility's "creative healing." He also said the new facility is a boon for the city's economy as its continues its goal to become more of a medical hub.
Arthur Nickless, Jr., chairman of the Pease Development Authority, said Pease is fortunate to have this new facility because of the way it will give back to the community and help patients in need of its services. He said the new Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital is yet another example of the success story that is Pease International Tradeport.
Besides Northeast employees, Nickless and Ferrini, several other New Hampshire politicians also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony including Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, State Sen. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, and State Rep. Jim Powers, D-Portsmouth.
Dr. Gardner, who opened his first Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital facility in Salem in 1984, cut the ceremonial red ribbon with his wife, Naomi, and Prochilo. Visitors also had the opportunity to tour the facility.