Weinberg Outpatient Center Grand Opening
Kennedy Krieger Institute
May 28, 2009
This is a good day for Baltimore. Doesn’t it feel good, in tough times, to be making progress in the greatest city in America with such good neighbors and good friends? Congressman Cummings turned to me earlier and said “Boy have we come a long way in this part of God’s beautiful earth in a short period of time.”
You need only look at the faces of the people who come into these buildings, and you need only look at the faces of the people who are here to serve them from their own hearts, to appreciate what an incredible a place of beauty, warmth, comfort, hope and healing this place is.
Tens of thousands of kids from all over Maryland and across the country will come here every year. Children with autism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord and brain injuries. And through the innovative technology and healing and compassionate hands of the doctors, nurses and therapists who work here, they will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential in God’s eyes. That’s really what our short time on this planet is all about.
The great Frederick Douglas once said “We are one, and our cause is one, and we must help each other if we are to succeed.”
That’s really what this day is about, isn’t it? It’s why all of you are here. It’s why this is such an important day. And it’s why your state is committed to doing everything that we can to help places like Kennedy Krieger continue to reach out there with healing hands.
It’s why we’ve invested over 9 million dollars to support Kennedy Krieger.
It’s why, in tough times, we’ve increased funding for the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program by $4.6 million in FY 2009, bringing our total funding to $10.4 million. And even during these tough times, when many worthy programs must weather budget cuts, we’re level funding the Infants and Toddlers Program this year.
It’s why we were able to pass the Fitness and Athletics Equity Act for Students with Disabilities, with the help of Maryland’s General Assembly.
It’s why, in tough times, we’ve invested over $2 million to our Division of Rehabilitation Services – reducing its waiting list by over 54 percent in just 6 months.
It’s why we’ve increased by 93 percent the number of individuals covered with quality health care through Maryland Employed Individuals with Disabilities program.
And it’s why all of you, most importantly, are here today.
It’s because these investments are not just about our own here and now, are they? It’s not about our own quality of life – it’s about the better quality of life, and the fuller life, that our kids will share as they share a future with their fellow citizens in the next generation.
Here at the Weinberg Outpatient Center, in a very real way, all of us will be able to share the joy of unlocking the miraculous potential, that spark of the divine, that exists in every single individual. I want to thank all of you for what you’ve done to make this day possible.