After more than 125 years of providing extraordinary care to sick and injured infants, children and teenagers, Floating Hospital for Children, renamed Tufts Children’s Hospital will be closing.
“Floating Hospital started as a ship in Boston harbor, back in the day when doctors thought that sick kids needed the clean sea air to get better,” said Geoffrey Binney, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief at Tufts Children’s Hospital. “It’s a rich history, but unfortunately, even after all this time, the name hasn’t resonated with the people of Boston and surrounding towns. Changing the name to one aligned with the Tufts brand will help us receive attention commensurate with the outstanding pediatric care we have provided for more than a century.”
in the past several years, Floating cared for 40,000 children each year. In 1894, its inaugural year sailing Boston harbor, Floating Hospital treated 1,100 children in need. It wasn’t long after that a research facility was built on land to explore new pediatric medical treatments. One such discovery came in 1919 – the first-ever artificial milk product, today known as Similac. In 1927 when a fire destroyed the ship, hospital trustees decided to move all clinical services on shore, as well.
In 2016, I knew almost nothing about Boston's Floating Hospital when I began working there in the pediatric hematology/oncology clinic as a massage therapist with Lucy's Love Bus. Six years later, as the pediatric wards close and I walk out the doors one final time, I am both saddened and angered that Boston lost a medical and historical landmark of unprecedented significance - and heartbroken that our Floating Families lost a home.
What I've experienced, learned, shared in, and witnessed from our kids, our families, and our most dedicated staff, will remain with me always.
“We will always cherish the hospital’s history and its legacy,” said Rachel Wasserstrom, Vice President, Tufts Children’s Hospital, Women’s Health and Psychiatry. “It has been an unbelievable 125 years caring for everything from stomach aches to the most complex medical conditions...."