When Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital medical staff conducts research, it’s not only for the future benefit of science and medicine. Our staff is dedicated to enhancing patient treatment and services.

The research efforts of our doctors, therapists and nurses often lead to discoveries with a timely and positive impact for our patients. Research is done with the conviction it will help restore hope and freedom for children and adults with physical disabilities.

Mary Free Bed has created an infrastructure through the John F. Butzer Center for Research and Innovation to support our physicians and staff with research endeavors and to facilitate scholarly activity. Our efforts include original research and participation in multicenter studies and sponsored clinical trials.

A Snapshot of What We’re Doing

Twenty ongoing research projects involving 34 active researchers and 15 hospital service lines currently are embedded at Mary Free Bed. Hundreds of patients and staff are impacted, including:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation – stroke, brain injury, oncology
  • Outpatient rehabilitation – spinal cord injury, oncology, pediatrics, orthopedics, post-concussion, spine, psychology
  • Orthotics & Prosthetics + Bionics – infant orthotics, pediatric and adult prosthetics
  • Wheelchair & Adaptive Sportsrecreational therapy

Mary Free Bed collaborates with other highly-respected institutions – from universities to health care organizations – with the common goal of improving patient lives.

“These partnerships ensure that we continue to provide superior rehabilitative care and pave the way for educating and training future rehabilitation doctors and other professionals,” said Dr. John F. Butzer, research director emeritus for Mary Free Bed’s Center for Research and Innovation.

About Dr. John F. Butzer

A fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Butzer served as the chief medical officer at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for 29 years. During his tenure, he also directed the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic and the Motion Analysis Center.

Dr. Butzer stepped down from his duties as CMO in 2014 to form the Center for Research and Innovation and serves as its director.

In 2014, the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine was initiated in Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine with Dr. Butzer as its director, a position he continues to hold. He also is a clinical professor of medicine there.

Dr. Butzer’s current work involves measuring value in rehabilitation and establishing a learning health system. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his residency in neurology at the University of Iowa.

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