SAGINAW, MI – Vietnam veteran Bob Podleski was the star of an opening ceremony for a $ 40.7 million rehabilitation center on the Covenant HealthCare campus on Wednesday, December 1st.
Podleski said he spent nearly three months caring for staff under the Covenant HealthCare and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation partnership that first cared for patients in March 2018. The two-time recipient of Purple Heart – who has been an agent for decades. suffers from Orange Exposure – said he battled COVID-19 in July and needed help from staff there to return home.
“You should pay them more,” said Podleski, only half-jokingly about the staff.
As rehabilitation professionals work across the Covenant HealthCare campus today, starting Monday December 13th they will operate in the new facility built specifically for the hospital’s Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Center.
The three-story building, located directly west of the hospital’s emergency room, measures 93,000 square meters – all four floors.
The building has 60 private inpatient rooms, space for patients with complex diseases and brain injuries, and gyms equipped with physiotherapy on each floor. Further equipment features are outpatient physiotherapy rooms with state-of-the-art equipment; a department for orthotics, prosthetics and bionics; and rooms built for patients to meet with the visiting family.
When the rehabilitation center begins admitting patients, around 100 staff will take care of the inpatients, while another 60 professionals will care for outpatients.
“Inpatient” refers to patients admitted to the rehabilitation center. “Outpatient” refers to patients who are typically in the later stages of therapy, have returned home and continue their recovery efforts during appointments at the facility.
Officials from Covenant HealthCare and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation announced plans to build the new facility in February 2019.
“This beautiful and sophisticated new space is the result of the solid relationship between Mary Free Bed and Covenant HealthCare,” said Beth Charlton, president and chief executive officer of Covenant HealthCare.
“Together, we dreamed of improving rehabilitation medicine in the Great Lakes Bay Region, and determination has propelled us through everything from supply chain bottlenecks to global pandemics.”
Kent Riddle, president and chief executive officer of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation, said his organization’s shared values with Covenant HealthCare helped make it a fit.
“Together we are pushing the boundaries of rehabilitation,” he said.
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation is a non-profit, state-approved rehabilitation system based in Grand Rapids. The organization provides services in more than 30 communities.
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