Mary Free Bed: Then, now, and tomorrow

mary free bed


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – Mary Free Bed is the 5th largest rehabilitation hospital in the United States, and has been serving our family and friends for 125 years, right in our own backyard. Carol Springer, President of the Mary Free Bed Guild, and Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed, joined eightWest to talk about the past, present, and future of Mary Free Bed.

Let’s start with a little history lesson. In 1891, a group of Grand Rapids women were concerned about people who couldn’t afford to pay for healthcare. They passed a little black purse asking anyone named Mary, or anyone who knew someone named Mary, to donate ten cents. Mary was the most popular female name at the time, so in short order the group raised enough money to endow a bed at a local hospital, which became known as the “Mary free bed. Today, the 120 women of the Guild govern Mary Free Bed. With majority representation on all boards, the Guild serves as the voice of the community.

There have been groundbreaking accomplishments since that first bed. Members of the Mary Free Bed Guild used to play major roles running the hospitals in years past and worked extensively with patients. In the early years, the patients were children and Guild members would read to them and entertain them.
There was even a sedan named Mary which Guild members used to transport children from home to appointments and back. What’s made Mary Free Bed so successful is the heart-felt culture and the strides made by their patients as they recover, people want to get better and they do.

Ask For Mary when you need rehabilitation. Patients have a right to make the choice of where they want to have rehab. It’s your Rehabilitation and your choice where to receive services. Mary Free Bed’s physicians are on staff at all local hospitals. They will come to your bedside to meet with you and your family.

Only Mary Free Bed experts can tell you which of our many rehabilitation services will best serve your individual needs, so give them a call at their toll free number, 1-855-ASK-MARY.