GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital officials broke ground Tuesday on a $54 million expansion and renovation project.
Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, acute care hospital dedicated exclusively to providing rehabilitation for children and adults. Mary Free Bed has the most comprehensive range of rehabilitation services in Michigan, according to a news release.
The addition to the Grand Rapids facility will double the space for patients, decrease the cost of delivering care, and give patients more time with nurses and therapists, according to a news release.
"This is a transformative project, enabling us to serve more patients and provide even greater specialized care," Mary Free Bed President and CEO Kent Riddle said. "It is the lynchpin to our vision of becoming one of the top five rehabilitation hospitals in the country."
Mary Free Bed Guild President Shelley Mishler said the Guild is providing the lead gift for the project -- $16 million.
During Tuesday's ceremony, Susan Ford Bales announced the establishment of The Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program, honoring her mother and grandmother.
The daughter of former President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford acknowledged her family ties to Mary Free Bed. Bales' mother and grandmother were active supporters of the hospital. Betty Bloomer Ford was a founding member of the Junior Guild in 1935. Hortense Neahr Bloomer was Guild president from 1931-1932.
With unprecedented candor about her breast cancer in 1974, Betty Ford revolutionized how people viewed the disease. The Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program is a pioneering step in the West Michigan community for the new sub-specialty of cancer rehabilitation, official said. This field comprehensively helps patients achieve maximum cognitive, emotional and physical functioning, while improving quality of life for patients and their families.
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