Mary Free Bed moves patients into new facility

The first patient moves into Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's new facility. (March 29, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has officially opened its new state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility.

The new building, located next to the old building off of Jefferson Avenue and Wealthy Street SE in Grand Rapids, will allow the hospital to serve an additionally 3,000 annually.

The new facility is said to compete with the best in the country. Mary Free Bed CEO Kent Riddle says patients already come from all over the U.S.; he believes they will now also come from other countries for care.

Some of the first patients rolled into their rooms Sunday; 70 of them moved from the old building to the new one starting at 9 a.m.

“Oh yeah, that’s nice,” Mary Free Bed patient Otto Huiber said as he toured his new room.

Huiber came to Mary Free Bed a few weeks ago because of a stroke.

The new facility has 167 private rooms with sleeping accommodations, easy-access bathrooms, natural lighting and new technology.

“We’ve tried to design the room to be very inspiring so that it lifts the spirit, because the psychology of rehabilitation is just as important,” Riddle said.

Everything in the hospital was designed for rehabilitation — from the lighting on the ceiling to the marked tiles on the floor, which help patients measure their progress.

The hospital also added 350 new nurses, therapist and IT employees.

“We didn’t want it to feel like a hospital and it doesn’t,” Riddle said.

The first four floors opened Sunday. The fifth floor is still under construction and won’t be complete until May. The total cost of the project is $66.4 million.

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