Pets can positively impact our health, reduce stress and make us happy – especially kids. That’s why
it’s important to Chad Bush to help Mary Free Bed’s youngest patients.
Chad is CFO of U.S. Retail, which owns and operates Pet Supplies Plus franchises across the country, including 6 in West Michigan.
During the holiday season, Pet Supplies Plus matched every dollar donated at their cash registers to the Mary Free Bed Foundation for the Pediatric Program. He presented a check for $10,000 to the foundation and CEO Kent Riddle on Monday, Jan. 26.
“We see the benefits of pets in people’s lives and want to help where we can,” said Chad, who is treasurer on Mary Free Bed’s Board of Trustees. “Study after study shows how great pets are for kids – benefits like reducing stress, movement and getting out to play, and companionship.”
Additionally, health and wellness for pets is central to his company’s mission.
“Connecting with Mary Free Bed to promote pets as a part of rehabilitation was a natural fit,” he said. “The next step is helping patients take care of their pets while they’re at Mary Free Bed. We are working on that now.”
Chad knows all too well the importance of care. On Sept. 11, 1990, he was driving his motorcycle to Spring Lake High School, where he was a senior, when he got into an accident and sustained a spinal cord injury. He spent 6 weeks rehabilitating at Mary Free Bed.
“Having gone through rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed 25 years ago, I know what it means to have a wonderful hospital in the community that cares about you at your lowest point,” he said. “After an accident or ailment, the staff at every level wants each patient to make progress.
“Each day is tough coming out of an accident so the culture of the hospital is important – a culture that continually promotes a good attitude is critical to be able to push patients to want to get better, quicker.”
That’s why staying connected to Mary Free Bed has been important to Chad, who has served on its Board of Trustees for 7 years.
“Mary Free Bed is very well run, and I am proud to be associated with it,” he said. “The doctors, nurses and staff are amazing … This place lives hope and freedom every day. I am where I am today because of the rehabilitation that I received from Mary Free Bed.”