MHSF at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children

Admission to PRHC

The Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children is a pediatric chronic care hospital for children ages 8-22.  In order to be considered for the program, patients must have a physical disability which requires medical management. In addition, patients must have a cognitive level that allows them to participate in therapies such as OT, PT and/or Speech. PRHC offers coordinated medical care and therapies in a hospital-based environment. All children must attend school, located on the grounds. Educational Services are provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. PRHC offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities such as swimming, horseback riding, adaptive sports and many opportunities for socialization. There is no tuition associated with this hospital; however the child must have Mass Health in order to be admitted to the hospital. The local school system is responsible for transporting children back and forth to Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children on weekends, vacations and holidays. If the child requires a 1:1 educational aide, the school system must also provide one for the school day.

The mission of Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children (PRHC) 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 waterfront.

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 Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children (PHRC) 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.

Transition Planning

Embracing Exit Upon Entry

From day one of your child’s stay at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children, the process of transition planning begins. This is a key component of our mission and promise to families and patients to focus programming through integrating community. This process initiates at the clinical team level through the development of interdisciplinary goals to prepare our patients for community living.

These clinical goals in coordination with IEP educational goals are realized through on and off campus vocational opportunities, skill building through our therapy services for shopping, accessing public transportation, safety and risk awareness as well as self advocacy.

Transition planning at PRHC is a patient and family driven process to meet the unique goals and ambitions of each child in support of full community inclusion.


Joint Commission Certified