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WBUR Oral History Project: Maureen Banks

Maureen Banks

Interviewed by: Joanna Shea O'Brien

Date: February 2, 2014

Location: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (Charlestown, MA)

Recorder: Jayne Guberman

Photo: Maureen Banks at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 14, 2013, the day before the 2013 Marathon (Photo provided by Maureen Banks)




Maureen Banks (RN, MS, MBA, CNAA) is the Chief Operating Officer of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and the President of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care North Shore and Cambridge President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod. She grew up in Brighton, Massachusetts in a second generation large Irish Catholic family. She received a nursing degree from Boston College, a Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut and an MBA and an advanced certificate in health administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She has taught in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs throughout her career, and is currently a part time faculty at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. As a nurse, Ms. Banks’ clinical focus has been oncology and hospice care.

Prior to the Fall of 2012, Maureen Banks had never run in her life. She grew up on the marathon route, and reflects on the marathon’s evolution during her lifetime. She was inspired by the elite runners, the women runners and the wheelchair athletes, but never considered the marathon as something she could do. With the urging of Spaulding Rehab Network President David Storto, an avid marathoner and runner for the Spaulding Race for Rehab marathon fundraising team, she began training. She comically and emotionally describes how much she disliked running, never got a “runner’s high” and yet persevered on towards race day. She describes the days leading up to the 2013 marathon, the marathon race, and what it was like to be stopped before finishing because of the bombings. Maureen was very emotional talking about completing the ceremonial one mile race a month later, and arriving at the Copley Square memorial to honor those who were injured and lost.

Maureen discusses the role of Spaulding, its integrated care approach and the new state of the art facility that opened in April 2013. She shares how Spaulding coped in the weeks immediately after the marathon bombing, including her responsibilities taking care of patients and staff at Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care in Cambridge during the ensuing weeks. She describes that despite the opening of the new building in Charlestown, what truly distinguishes Spaulding treatment is the staff. Providing rehabilitative care for the patients; Maureen talks about how the new open space gyms, the aquatic facility, and the advanced research in prosthetic care offered by Spaulding have also contributed to far more comprehensive care.

During the interview, Maureen reflects on what drew her to nursing and hospice care. She describes how her experience helping dying patients has shifted the focus of her decision making in the boardroom and in executive meetings, making her a better administrator and mentor. Maureen’s interview concludes with reflections on the strength of the survivors and how their recovery has inspired her, along with the many layers of support from staff that has helped in the post marathon healing. 

Audio Clip 1

Maureen Banks describes the Boston Marathon, its symbolism, what it meant for her when women runners began competing, and her decision to run at age 60.

Audio Clip 2

Maureen tells about the impact of the Boston Marathon on people and strangers.

Audio Clip 3

Maureen discusses preparation for race day in 2013, her anxiety and how she progressed throughout the race.

Audio Clip 4

Maureen reflects on the positive things that came out of the Boston Marathon, including the symbolic finishing of the race in May of 2013.

Full Interview

Related Links

WBUR Oral History Project: Stories from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Dara Casparian and Samantha Conley (Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Provided Rehabilitation Care to Survivors)

Suzette Chiong-Oglesby (Clinical Nurse Manager, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Mother of Marathon Runner, Marathon Spectator, Witness to Bombings, Treated Survivors)

Dr. David Crandell (Director of Amputee Services at Spaudling Rehabilitation Network, Marathon Runner)

Dr. Leslie Morse (Spaulding Physician, BAA Marathon Medical Tent Volunteer, First Responder)

David Storto (President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Marathoner)

Timothy Sullivan (Director of Communications, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network)



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