Today we mourn the passing of Dr Henry Betts , a true pioneer in the field of medicine. He built the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to the best in class status it holds to this day. So many people with disabilities benefited from rehab there where he and staff pushed us to our limits so we could go back out into the world and thrive. He inspired in us dignity , and self-acceptance and was influential in planting seeds for the nascent disability rights movement in Chicago. His vision included advocacy and lead to the formation of Access Living. He was my mentor and my friend. He understood "nothing about us without us" and honored it by helping to advance the careers and development of many of us. He did so in the most personal of ways.. Sending notes of congratulations, calling whenever he had a question on a movement issue, calling a legislator to help whenever we asked, putting people with disabilities on the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Board, including Access Living staff in the Medical Student and Resident Education programs and in so many other ways. Those of us who were bestowed with the Henry B Betts Award knew it came from the heart and cherished it. He always paid attention to the personal, never forgetting to ask about our families and whether we were doing okay.
He was one of kind and the world has lost a great man. I will miss him greatly.