Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Celebrates 10th Anniversary of ‘Big Blue Building’ on Medical Mile
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Spectrum Health The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital turns 10 in its iconic blue building on Michigan Street, along the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids.
The 14-story, $ 286 million building, which has 234 beds and provides care to infants, children and adolescents in Michigan and beyond, opened on January 11, 2011.
“Those who saw the need years ago for specialized care for our youngest patients were true visionaries,” said Tina Freese Decker, CEO of Spectrum, in a statement. “Without them, the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital would not be the vital community resource it is today.”
The hospital, which employs 300 pediatric physicians and has 70 pediatric specialties and programs, has become a reality with $ 103 million in contributions from more than 6,000 donors, according to Spectrum.
It is named after the late Helen DeVos, a West Michigan philanthropist and wife of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the tower opened and almost 30 years since the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital opened within Butterworth Hospital,” said Doug DeVos, member of the board of directors of Spectrum Health and sons of Helen and Richard.
“Mom and Dad always believed that buildings were just platforms for people to do great things. We are grateful to all the skilled professionals who perform miracles every day at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and we encourage every child – and their family – as they receive care there. “
The roots of the Children’s Hospital date back to the 1970s and 1980s, when a number of pediatricians joined Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in an effort to develop expertise in children’s specialties such as neonatal care, cancer and intensive care.
In 1990, hospital officials and donors pledged $ 44 million to build the Helen DeVos Center for Women and Children at Butterworth Hospital. The center, essentially a hospital within a hospital, opened in September 1993, bringing together a range of services in one area.
Dr James Fahner, head of the hematology and oncology division at the children’s hospital, said the new building gave Spectrum the ability to expand its pediatric services and ensure that interrelated specialties were grouped together in the same domain.
He mentioned, for example, the expansion of pediatric cardiovascular and open heart surgery programs, as well as the creation of a cardiovascular intensive care unit.
“Having the ability to provide a full service team that previously was sort of scattered across various locations in the medical center and even off-site – bringing that expertise and centralizing it in one place really added a lot to security. and effective care, ”Fahner said.
Having a dedicated children’s hospital also helps recruit doctors and pediatric specialists, he said. It has also helped spark collaborations with other institutions along the Medical Mile, such as the Van Andel Institute and Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.
“We’ve really taken a very important and very strategic place along the Medical Mile with these other capabilities in a way that we couldn’t do before,” Fahner said.
Dr Hossain Marandi, who took over as president of the children’s hospital in September, said he looked forward to building on the achievements that have taken place over the past decade.
“We will be pushing for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital to become a destination center for care,” he said, noting that the hospital is already attracting patients from other states and around the world.
“We want the quality and outcome of care to be so good that anyone who has a child who feels they need care would feel comfortable bringing them here.”