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New coloring book introduces Mary Free Bed pediatric patients to ‘Hope and Freedom League’

Pediatric patients at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have a fun way to get to know their team of physicians, therapists, nurses and caregivers – otherwise known as the “Hope and Freedom League.” A new coloring book introduces the hospital’s youngest patients to the superheroes whose special powers will help them “get better at lightning speed.”

The 36-page coloring book is the brainchild of occupational therapist Penny Adams (pictured above), leader of the Pediatric Program’s inpatient therapy team. It features descriptions and colorable images of staff members, from The Masterminds (“super-smart” physicians who lead the team, including Dr. Andrea Kuldanek, pictured below) to The Pain Killers (nurses whose healing powers help take pain away).

“It helps explain to kids who we are and what we do in a cool way,” said Penny, who utilized the help of Allison Gutowski, an occupational therapy student from Grand Valley State University, to manage the project. “We used traits we appreciate as co-workers to turn our team into superheroes.”

Penny’s alter ego is Mighty Penny Steele. She uses her muscles of steel to help patients get stronger and her “super sense of creativity to help disguise hard work.” Vandy – aka Wagster – Mary Free Bed’s animal assisted intervention dog, uses her tail-wagging powers to make bad thoughts disappear.

The league also includes The Detective, Transformer, Genius Joe and Aqua Belle, whose special super powers help patients on their journey to recovery.

“The idea is that the ‘Hope and Freedom League’ helps kids discover the superhero in themselves,” Penny said. “They have the power – that’s the hallmark of any superhero.”

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