Cancer, Community, Reed City Hospital
Wheatlake Wellness Path Almost a Reality
June 5, 2019
REED CITY, Mich., June 4, 2019 – For patients and their families walking a cancer journey, the road can be long and difficult.
That’s why a quiet stroll through the soon-to-be constructed Wheatlake Wellness Path will offer a welcome respite as part of treatment.
The wellness path will be integrated alongside the Spectrum Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City.
“We’re so excited about this project,” said Jen Ames, manager of the cancer center. “Our center exists to treat the whole person – body, mind and spirit, and the wellness path will help us deliver even more on that mission,” she said. “The path will provide walking opportunities for patients, areas for reflection and relaxation, and will enhance programming in the wellness center,” she added.
The winding path will feature multiple benches, trees, a fountain, healing gardens, reflection spaces and picnic areas. The flat paved surface will be completely accessible for everyone.
“It’s going to be beautiful and will add such a wonderful touch to the center,” Susan Wheatlake said. “Families and patients will enjoy being outdoors and spending time resting and nourishing their spirit, which is vital when fighting this terrible disease,” she said. Wheatlake is a local cancer survivor and donor to the center that bears her name.
The $250,000 Wheatlake Wellness Path project is being funded entirely by charitable donations, and $86,000 in fundraising is needed to see the project to completion.
Response to the campaign has been very positive according to Shelly Westbrook, Spectrum Health Foundation Director of Northeast Region Hospitals including Big Rapids, Reed City, United Hospital in Greenville and Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview.
“We’re very blessed to have philanthropic dollars make so many things possible for our patients and their families,” Westbrook said. “We’re hoping to secure the remaining funds over the next two months, so we can finish the installation this fall,” she said.
Among the many generous donors, the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Auxiliary donated $50,000 to sponsor the picnic shelter along the path. “The hospital auxiliary continues to make a significant difference in the lives of our patients,” Westbrook said. “We appreciate their generosity and everyone who supports the hospital gift shop and their events,” she said.
Other naming opportunities for featured amenities along the path are still available.
Individuals or families can also buy a personalized brick to support the project or to honor a loved one affected by cancer. For a donation of $200, donors can buy a brick that will be showcased in one area along the path. Bricks can be purchased at the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital gift shop, at the cancer center in Reed City, by calling the foundation office at 231.592.4367 or by going online to give.spectrumhealth.org/BigRapidsReedCity/WellnessPath/Donate.
Already 75 of the 250 available bricks have been purchased.
“We’ve all been touched by cancer and people have opened up their hearts for this project,” Westbrook said.
The Spectrum Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center opened in 2013 and provides comprehensive cancer treatment and care including chemotherapy and radiation. The center also provides non-oncology infusions for patients throughout the area.
Free services include massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure along with providing wigs, hats and scarves in the boutique. A resources library is also available for patients and families.
Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,300 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 155 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $585 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.