Health Care and Human Resources

Mary Free Bed names chief medical officer

October 28, 2014
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Mary Free Bed names chief medical officer
Michael Jakubowski. Courtesy Mary Free Bed

The new chief medical officer at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has been part of its medical team since 1987.

Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids, said yesterday that is has named Dr. Michael Jakubowski to the role.

Jakubowski will assume his leadership role immediately and replaces Dr. John Butzer, who announced his retirement earlier this year to launch the John F. Butzer Center for Research and Innovation at the hospital.

Jakubowski recently served as the medical director of the Mary Free Bed Spine Center.

The role

Jakubowski said he’s excited to be part of a team that’s partnering with many superb health care systems to make transformational changes in the way rehabilitation services are delivered.

“There are over 300 years of experience amongst the rehabilitation physicians at Mary Free Bed, and I am delighted to work with them in expanding our services and providing efficient and effective patient care,” Jakubowski said. “The rehabilitation physicians have been my friends for decades, and now I hope to work collectively with them in forging new rehabilitation paths.”

As CMO at Mary Free Bed, Jakubowski said he will oversee the longevity of specialized rehabilitation programs, work with other acute-care hospitals in the area to provide patient and physician access and reduce barriers for patients to receive treatment.

“The most important roles are to try to make sure that the specialized rehabilitation programs that are available at Mary Free Bed and nowhere else, that their outstanding quality is maintained, and they get what they need to thrive to offer those services to this community,” Jakubowski said.

“I do think there is another role, which is to work with the other acute-care hospitals in this area and try to function a little bit like Switzerland, make sure we invite physicians from every other hospital to follow their patients at Mary Free Bed.

“The long view is that these things that we do, we do them in trust for the community, and the bottom line is that the health and well-being of the community must be served at the end of the day. Eventually, it is the only thing that makes a difference.”

Medical background

With more than 25 years of clinical experience and serving in a number of administrative positions, Jakubowski said his background will benefit him in the CMO role, due to his understanding of both patient and physician needs.

Previously, Jakubowski served as medical director of rehabilitative services at Metro Health, and he's been elected chief of staff at Mary Free Bed twice by his peers.

“I have had administrative leadership positions at other hospitals, so I do understand the needs of physicians practicing in an acute-care setting, and I have also been a practicing physician for the last 25 or more years,” Jakubowski said. “From a very personal standpoint, I feel the needs from the physician side are very clear to me. I think in both cases — from the patient advocate and from an administrative side — I have picked up some experience along the way."

Jakubowski is a board-certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation and internal medicine.

Jakubowski completed his residencies at the University of Michigan Health System and Henry Ford Hospital. 

Mary Free Bed

Mary Free Bed is home to 80 acute-care inpatient beds, while providing outpatient and home-based rehabilitative care and specialty services.

The hospital serves children and adults and provides services for injuries or medical conditions: adaptive seating, orthotics, prosthetics, driver rehabilitation, bio-feedback for neuromuscular re-education and adaptive sports and more.

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