The newest Kennedy came home to Brigantine on what would have been his great-uncle’s 101st birthday.
Patrick and Amy Kennedy welcomed their fifth child Monday at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Mainland Campus in Galloway Township.
On Tuesday, the baby went home with his two older brothers and two older sisters.
“As we reflect on the tragedies of the past, Amy and I are hopeful that this child will know a more compassionate, connected world – one my aunts, uncles and father fought for every day,” said the youngest son of Ted Kennedy.
It is also two weeks before the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, June 6, 1968.
Marshall Patrick Kennedy was born at 8:16 p.m. weighing 7 pounds, 4.2 ounces and 19¾ inches long.
His name is one to live up to, honoring both the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Gen. George Marshall and the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the court’s first black justice.
“So I think those are pretty awesome inspirations for my new son, Marshall, to live up to,” Kennedy said.
“We are so grateful for the amazing care we have received through AtlantiCare, and proud that our children were born in a place that truly values mental health,” said Kennedy, who has written and spoken extensively about his own struggle with bipolar disorder and drug addiction.
“Getting a ‘check up from the neck up’ is critical for everyone, especially new mothers,” he said. “AtlantiCare really walks the walk when it comes to issues like postpartum depression. That’s a service not just to individuals, but to the entire community.”
AtlantiCare is one of the first health systems in the country to adopt the Zero Suicide framework system-wide. Zero Suicide focuses on patient safety and quality improvement in suicide care, with a goal to have all patients screened for suicide risk.
If assessed as needing follow-up care, AtlantiCare is referring patients to a coordinator who creates an individualized plan.
The former U.S. representative from Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy founded The Kennedy Forum, is a former member of the President Trump’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, a co-founder of One Mind, and author of the New York Times bestseller “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.”
He is best known as the co-author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act, which was signed into law in 2008. It provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment by requiring insurers to cover illnesses of the brain, such as depression and addiction, no more restrictively than how they cover illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.
Amy Kennedy was a public school teacher in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for more than 15 years. She now provides consultation services that emphasize evidence-based research and programming to facilitate policy change in the areas of education and mental health and is the education director for The Kennedy Forum. She also serves on the board of Mental Health America, a leading national advocacy organization, and sits on the advisory board of the Jed Foundation’s Set to Go program, which helps high school students emotionally prepare for the transition to college.