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Michigan Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation partners with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

New research collaboration focuses on improving lives of patients with spinal cord injuries

Michigan Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is partnering with Grand Rapids-based Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital on future research collaborations around spinal cord injury.

The two institutions will be working closely on research projects focused on helping Michigan residents with spinal cord 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, Ph.D., 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.”

Research is already underway in the new partnership with both institutions partnering on a study to investigate the effect of a novel exercise training program on physical activity and quality of life for persons with spinal cord injuries. The three-year study is funded by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

“We’re excited to expand our research efforts for spinal cord injury patients,” says John Butzer, M.D., 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.”

Tate agrees, “We look forward to many more years of collaborative spinal cord injury research with Mary Free Bed’s outstanding group of scientific investigators.”

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.

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