Mary Free Bed, MSU announce partnership

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. (Courtesy its website)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Michigan State University are joining forces.

The Michigan State University College of Humane Medicine students will soon start working at Mary Free Bed.

“With an aging population, with more disabled people all the time, this is a important area of medicine that needs to attract more people,” said Dr. Butzer, Chief Medical Officer at Mary Free Bed.

Mary Free Bed thinks that will be possible with its new partnership with the MSU College of Human Medicine.

MSU believes the partnership will also help expand its footprint.

“I think being able to offer this experience will be important in recruiting students,” said Dr. Marsha Rappley, Dean of MSU College of Human Medicine.

Mary Free Bed says the partnership will allow it to be more than just a rehab facility, but also a research and teaching hospital as well. The hospital’s goal is to improve patient care.

“All great medical institutions are built on a three legged stool of patient care, research and education,” said Butzer. “This will enhance those three legs of the stool and allow patients to have world class care to come to Grand Rapids from a wider area.”

MSU says that with the help of Mary Free Bed, the partnership will help students understand patients’ and families’ experiences as they go through the rehabilitation process.

“This experience — being a part of their true rehabilitation, understanding all the planning that goes into each step, and then really this tremendous effort that is required of the patient and the family to make this a success — it’s great for our students to be apart of that,” said Rappley.

The partnership will also give students expanded opportunities to decide between different medical fields.

Both hospital and university say the partnership, which has been a year in the making, will assist in expanding West Michigan’s medical footprint by bringing more research to the area.

“The West Michigan community is lucky to have a facility like Mary Free Bed, like the medical school. But coming together there will be better patient care. More advances in medicine will be available to patients sooner and the care will be better and more accessible to patients in West Michigan,” Butzer said.

Butzer also sees this move as laying the foundation for a successful future for the hospital:

“I’d like to see that we’re one of these largest funded rehabilitation research centers in the country. That our researchers are recognized around the world.”


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