Munson Medical Center, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital sign JOA

Munson Medical Center and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have signed a joint operating agreement that expands their partnership to provide rehabilitation services to northern Michigan residents.

The agreement took effect Jan. 1.

Mary Free Bed has managed 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 hospital 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 Munson 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, MD; Andrew Cole, MD; and Marshall T. Poole, DO 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 feasibility of building a larger inpatient unit and add new outpatient specialty programs.

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 our specialty physicians and staff to help patients achieve outstanding clinical results. For additional information, visit

Munson Medical Center is a non-profit hospital based in Traverse City, Michigan. It is the region’s largest hospital, with 442 beds, and the referral center for all northern Michigan. Munson Medical Center is part of Munson Healthcare, northern Michigan’s largest and leading health care system. A team of more than 5,500 providers, staff and volunteers serve thousands of patients a day at Munson Medical Center, Munson Community Health Center, Cowell Family Cancer Center, Smith Family Breast Health Center, Webber Heart Center, physician offices and numerous outpatient locations. For more information, visit

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