Mary Free Bed and Spectrum plan $60 million pediatric rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids

LARGE RAPIDS — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Spectrum HealthDeVos Children’s Hospital plans to build the state’s first children’s rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids.

Under a joint operating agreement announced at a press conference today, the planned $60 million building on Wealthy Street across from Mary Free Bed’s main campus would contain two stories and 67,000 square feet. squares to provide specialized care for children. The hospital would be connected by skywalk to the main Mary Free Bed campus at 235 Wealthy St. SE.

The new facility aims to provide life-changing rehabilitation for children born with deformities, deformities, as well as children recovering from illnesses, chronic pain or traumatic injuries, said Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed. .

“This proposed hospital will be the only free-standing children’s rehabilitation hospital in Michigan, the ninth in the nation, and one of only three located between the two coasts,” Riddle said. “As the newest, it will be the most technologically advanced and specialized in our country.”

Rehabilitative care needs for children have increased dramatically in recent years. The number of children Mary Free Bed has treated since 2016 has increased by more than 73%, Riddle said. In 2021, nearly 60% of all Michigan children on both peninsulas received care at Mary Free Bed, Riddle added.

The hospital is working to raise $60 million from public and private donors by 2023 to begin construction by the end of next year, Riddle said. Construction is expected to take two years.

“We are able to support the hospital financially once it is built, but like other children’s hospitals, it takes a whole community to be able to put them together and create them,” Riddle said.

The first $10 million for the project is included in the recently announced budget agreement between Governor Gretchen Whitmer and key lawmakers. Whitmer said at today’s press conference that she expects to sign the state budget in the coming days.

“Each of us knows someone who is going to benefit from this investment in Mary Free Bed,” Whitmer said.

The facility would include 24 private inpatient rooms, outpatient treatment areas, spaces for specialist services, recreation areas for children of all ages and a classroom for a certified teacher to help patients follow their school work. More than 40 specialized rehabilitation programs would be offered.

Mary Free Bed is finalizing a certificate of need with the state for the new facility, Riddle said.

“We already do phenomenal things with children here at Mary Free Bed, but we need a more child-friendly environment, a lot more space to do it and with that we can provide deeper care and richer to these children and families,” said Dr. Doug Henry, Director of Pediatric Services at Mary Free Bed. “This building will do just that. had at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, which has been phenomenal since I’ve been here for three years.

The new facility will be a 50-50 partnership between Mary Free Bed and DeVos Children’s Hospital and will likely attract patients from across Michigan as well as surrounding states, Henry said.

“If you have good programs, they will come,” Henry said. “It will definitely allow us to have much better programs and spaces, and better care for patients.”


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Christy J. Olson