VIDEO | New Year Brings Deeper Relationship

VIDEO | New Year Brings Deeper Relationship

Munson Medical Center and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital recently signed a joint operating agreement to expand their collaboration to provide rehabilitation services to northern Michigan residents.

The agreement took effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Mary Free Bed has been managing the inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services at Munson Medical Center since August 2015. A significant increase in the number of patients and the severity of their injuries has been noted since the partnership began.

“We’re pleased to expand our partnership with Mary Free Bed through this joint operating agreement,” said Al Pilong, president of Munson Medical Center and chief operating officer of Munson Healthcare. “We believe this is a real win for the region.”

Mary Free Bed is one of the largest and most comprehensive rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. The Grand Rapids-based facility offers more than 110 specialized medical and sports rehabilitation programs.

“It’s the next evolutionary step in our relationship,” said Kent Riddle, CEO of Mary Free Bed. “It ushers in a new era of rehabilitation in Traverse City. We’re definitely excited about the future.”

Under the agreement, Mary Free Bed will continue to manage the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Munson Medical Center and outpatient services at Foster Family Community Health Center. Additionally, rehabilitation at Munson Outpatient Services-West on Rosewood Drive and Munson Outpatient Services-Kingsley will join the Chums Corner location as Mary Free Bed at Munson Medical Center operations. 

Three Traverse City-based physiatrists – physicians specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation — will be employed by Mary Free Bed as part of the agreement. Kimberly Augenstein, M.D.; Andrew Cole, M.D.; and Marshall T. Poole, D.O. will work with physicians in the region to better coordinate patient care.

Goals of the joint operating agreement are to enhance the rehabilitation programs, study the feasibility of building a larger inpatient unit and add new outpatient specialty programs. 

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