You may not expect an engineer to be at the helm of the nation’s 4th largest rehabilitation system, but Kent Riddle is more than comfortable in that role. After graduating from Purdue University in Construction Management and Engineering, Kent’s career began on a likely track: commercial and industrial real estate development, building design and construction, and global mergers and acquisitions for Steelcase, Inc.
Kent’s professional path realigned when his wife, Susan, suffered a traumatic brain injury and recovered at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. He joined the hospital board and was invited to become Chief Executive Officer in 2011.
Known around the hospital as the Energizer Bunny, during the past five years Kent has initiated and integrated monumental changes at Mary Free Bed with significant results including:
- The number of employees has gr0wn by 74%
- A $66 million expansion and renovation project is nearing completion with a leading-edge hospital, designed specifically for rehabilitation, operational for the past year.
- The number of inpatient beds on the main campus has more than doubled going from 80 to 167.
- The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network was created in 2011 and now has 31 hospital members across Michigan – with an additional 100 inpatient acute-care rehabilitation beds in this system.
- The Mary Free Bed Foundation was established in 2012 and has raised $20.4 million.
But clearly the most important accomplishment for Kent is the 187% increase in the number of patients served. And, no one understands better than Kent what it means to have futures transformed through rehabilitation.