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Spectrum Health, Mary Free Bed partner to enhance pediatric care

Posted at 9:41 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 09:41:54-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health and Mary Free Bed leaders announced on Wednesday an “enhanced collaboration” meant to increase access to pediatric acute inpatient rehabilitation.

Through a Joint Operating Agreement, Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital will operate an acute pediatric inpatient rehabilitation unit at Mary Free Bed, according to a news release.

“We have worked closely with Mary Free Bed for many years and value our shared goal of better serving children by leveraging our respective strengths,” said Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health. “This agreement builds on our strong relationship and is focused on specialized healing care and therapy our kids need.”

“We’ll begin thinking about rehabilitation from the moment children are admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital because of this collaboration,” said Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed. “We’re all thrilled about how this program will make recoveries for kids even better.”

Officials say the partnership will both enhance current services and create new ones.

For example, a recent patient, Lyli Shults, benefited from caregivers at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital who helped Mary Free Bed establish a pediatric ventilator program for children who need mechanical assistance for breathing.

After surgery at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Lyli transferred to Mary Free Bed, where she received ventilator support and specialized rehabilitation.

While at Mary Free Bed, Lyli was followed by her Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital physicians via telehealth.

Also part of the new agreement, a Mary Free Bed physiatrist – a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation – will partner with Spectrum Health Medical Group physiatrists to enhance services for patients needing post-acute care.