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Spectrum Health partners with GVSU Cook-DeVos Center expanding hospital bed capacity

Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and GVSU President Dr. Philomena Mantella photo

Area hospitals are preparing for a spike in COVID-19 cases in West Michigan coordinating with area partners adding hospital bed capacity.

Grand Rapids “Medical Mile” neighbors Spectrum Health and Grand Valley State University have been preparing for a public health crisis. A plan 10 years in the making.

“The models are showing that the current capacity that we have within our hospitals will not be enough. And, when we’re at that capacity, even after using very innovative ways within the four walls of our hospitals throughout our region, we will need to expand to other sites.”

Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, says GVSU’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences allows additional capacity of up to 250 hospital beds. But this is more than a movement of physical assets. Grand Valley State University President Dr. Philomena Mantella says it’s about martialing talent.

“As hard as it is, I think it’s an opportunity for us to all step up and lead in the way that calls us to the present and the future at the same time.”

“This is a challenge unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” explained Governor Gretchen Whitmer who witnessed the influx of beds and equipment.

“We’ve got incredible talent across this state in our healthcare systems and our community colleges. This partnership is really something that’s unique but needs to be replicated and needs to become the rule, not the exception.”

Metro-Health – University of Michigan Health, Mercy Health and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation hospital are all increasing the number of beds available and at off-site locations.

I’m Patrick Center.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.