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Mary Free Bed and University of Michigan collaborate on research

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Michigan’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation are partnering on research to help people with spinal cord injuries. Researchers from Mary Free Bed and the University of Michigan are collaborating on a three-year study investigating the effect of a novel exercise training program on physical activity and quality of life for persons with spinal cord injuries. It’s funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

“We’re excited to expand our research efforts for spinal cord injury patients,” says Dr. John F. Butzer, director of Research and Innovation at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. “It’s an honor to work with our colleagues in Ann Arbor to improve the lives of patients who sustain these devastating injuries.”

Shared efforts include, but are not limited to: writing research proposals, recruiting patients for studies, sharing data, creating joint publications and presentations as well as performing community outreach and education.

“One of our strategic objectives is to build a statewide system for research in spinal cord injury that can lead to new innovation and discoveries,” says Denise Tate, professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine and co-director of the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems. “Our partnership with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is helping both institutions potentially impact more patients across the state of Michigan.”

The ongoing study already has had a positive impact on participants. Shelly Loose, who was injured 30 years ago, didn’t work out regularly before the program. She regained enough strength and built more confidence, to the point she could compete in a five-kilometer handcycle race. Another participant started using a manual wheelchair after using his power chair for three years.

Mary Free Bed is seeking new participants for the two-month program. Candidates should be over 18, have had a traumatic spinal cord injury at least three months prior and not be involved in an organized exercise program.

For information on participating in the study, call 616.840.8926 or email research@maryfreebed.com.

About Mary Free Bed
Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since 1891, Mary Free Bed has restored hope and freedom through rehabilitation for children and adults who have experienced brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple traumas, amputations, cancer and other diagnoses. The combination of more than 110 specialized medical and sports rehabilitation programs and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to help patients achieve outstanding clinical results. For additional information, visit maryfreebed.com.

About Michigan Medicine
At Michigan Medicine, we create the future of healthcare through the discovery of new knowledge for the benefit of patients and society; educate the next generation of physicians, health professionals and scientists; and serve the health needs of our citizens. We pursue excellence every day in our three hospitals, 125 clinics and home care operations that handle more than 2.3 million outpatient visits a year.

Michigan Medicine includes the top ranked U-M Medical School and the University of Michigan Health System, which includes the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, University Hospital, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center and the Rogel Cancer Center. The U-M Medical School is one of the nation’s biomedical research powerhouses, with total research funding of more than $470 million.

More information is available at www.michiganmedicine.org.

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