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Beline Obeid

Rehab center opens thanks to gift

December 13, 2012
The new Valade Gym, Education Center and Spa opened on the seventh floor of St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

The newest hospital facility provides patients with an enhanced physical rehabilitation environment and services. The Nov. 8 grand opening celebration and donor reception honored Gretchen C. Valade for her gift to the center and to pay tribute to Michael C. Burke, her friend in whose memory the gift was made.

A Grosse Pointe Farms resident, Valade is chair of Carhartt, CEO of Mack Avenue Records and owner of the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, who gave $500,000 to support the gym, education center and spa.

A long-time hospital supporter, she has supported the Valade Healing Arts Center, the heart and circulatory center patient wing, the Valade Cardiovascular Hybrid Operating Room and the da Vinci® Si surgical robotic system.

The new gym provides an optimum rehabilitation environment for those who have had joint replacement or spinal surgery to assist them in successful physical therapy prior to discharge. The area is set up to accommodate both individual and group therapy clinics, and the state-of-the-art equipment includes a car simulator to teach patients the proper body mechanics of entering and exiting a vehicle post-surgery.

The education center is a component of the pre-operative process where joint replacement and spinal surgery patients learn what to expect and plan for before their procedure. Along with their at-home “coaches,” patients attend classes taught by patient care staff, pharmacy, social work, therapy and home care personnel.

By having the classroom on the patient floor, surgical candidates can see their post-surgical rooms and treatment areas prior to their surgery.

Patients and their support persons can take advantage of an array of pampering amenities such as massage therapies, manicures and hair styling.

At the opening event, Valade spoke of her commitment to the Detroit/Grosse Pointe community and the importance of friendship — especially her close relationship with Michael and Sharon Burke. Burke died of heart disease in May 2011, and Valade remembered him with her recent gift.

“St. John Hospital is a cause close to my heart, and I’m happy to support this area that will benefit many patients,” she said.

Hospital orthopedic surgeons donated $30,000 to help purchase equipment for the new facility.

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