The mission of The Massachusetts Hospital School (MHS) is to provide medical, rehabilitative, educational, recreational, habilitative, transitional, and complementary alternative medical services to children and young adults with multiple disabilities, assisting them to achieve their optimal level of independence in all aspects of life.

The Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children (formerly the Massachusetts Hospital School) was created in 1904 by an act of the state legislature with the support of Dr. Edward H. Bradford who sought to improve the lives of children with disabilities.  The facility opened in 1907 under the supervision of Dr. John E. Fish with the admission 104 children. The facility expanded in 1920 with the purchase of over 100 acres of land that supported the construction of expanded facilities and services, including the installation of fully accessible salt water pool, track, equestrian center, and water front.

Today, PRHC is a Joint Commission accredited, pediatric hospital serving children and young adults (ages 7 – 22+) operated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.   On April 28, 2016, Governor Charles D. Baker signed into law Chapter 87 of the Acts of 2016 (https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter87), renaming the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children as a public acknowledgement of Dr. Arthur Pappas’ vast contributions to the Commonwealth, the hospital’s mission, and the abilities of those the hospital serves.  For over 50 years, Dr. Pappas dedicated his life’s work as a renowned surgeon, medical pioneer and visionary, educator, philanthropist, and humanitarian to eliminating stereotypes, fostering inclusion for individuals with disabilities, and providing the opportunity for each individual to reach his or her full potential.


The Massachusetts Hospital School Foundation (MHSF) is a 501(c) (3) organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds for the children. The Massachusetts Hospital School Board of Trustees is the governing body for the Foundation. It is through these funds, privately raised, that the patient/students enjoy a variety of recreational and therapeutic activities as well as community experiences that would otherwise not be available to them. In other words, while the state ensures that their medical and educational needs are met in a safe, healthy environment, these donations provides the children with the tools and experiences they need to thrive and fully realize their potential as individuals..