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$50 million gift from Cheri DeVos and family for children’s healthcare
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$50 million gift from Cheri DeVos and family for children’s healthcare

Three major health systems in West Michigan received tens of millions of dollars to improve the care of children needing medical, rehabilitation, and mental health care.

The DeVos Family announced Monday a $50 million gift split between Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation, and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

“Our Family is incredibly grateful for the compassionate pediatric experts who are devoted to transforming the lives of children in remarkable ways,” said Doug DeVos. “We hope this gift will increase further collaboration between these individuals and organizations to advance medical, rehabilitative and mental health care for kids.”

$40 million will go to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, including expanding the Comprehensive Car Program and Pediatric Intensive Car Unit from 30 beds to 44. The money will also assist the new inpatient medical psychiatry unit, fund part of the Center for Nursing Career Development, and create an endowment for the Child and Family Life Team. The team boasts nearly 40 certified professionals who help children and families enjoy some of the comforts of home when staying at the hospital, including music, art, and education.

Other programs receiving funding includes the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center which will create a new breast milk donation station, and the Division of Comprehensive Care.

“This generous gift will propel our mission of providing exceptional care and unwavering support of families and we are profoundly grateful to the DeVos Family for their continued support of our teams,” said Dr. Robert Fitzgerald, President of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “This gift will allow us to continue to do the extraordinary, compassionate care which happens every day at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.”

$5 million of the gift is earmarked to help build the Joan Secchia Chidren’s Rehabilitation Hospital at Mary Free Bed. The separate building will be 100% dedicated to assisting kids recover from injuries. It is scheduled to open in 2026 and expected to serve 2,000 more children than currently seen through Mary Free Bed.

“West Michigan is daring to dream differently about health care for kids,” said Kent Riddle, President and CEO of Mary Free Bed. “With the DeVos Family’s support, we’re fulfilling a big-hearted promise to our youngest patients and their families. This gift will help bring to life Michigan’s first, freestanding children’s rehabilitation hospital – an extraordinary step in giving every child the opportunity to reach their greatest potential.”

The final $5 million goes to Pine Rest Pediatric Center of Behavioral Health, which is set to open in 2026. The center is expected to expand access to inpatient, partial hospitalization, outpatient, and behavioral health testing services for teens and children.

“Currently, many children and families in Michigan face weeks, months, or even years-long wait times for access to behavioral health care,” said Dr. Heide Rollings, Medical Director at Pine Rest Pediatric Center of Behavior Health.

 “These services could significantly improve a child’s performance in school, relationships with family and friends, and overall emotional well-being. With this transformational gift from the DeVos Family, the Pine Rest Pediatric Center of Behavioral Health will truly change lives by expanding access to care, developing innovative treatment models and continuing our commitment to the community Pine Rest has served for over 110 years.”

The DeVos family says this gift continues the legacy of the late Richard and Helen DeVos.

“Mom and Dad always believed that buildings were merely platforms for people to do great things,” said Cheri DeVos, daughter of Rich and Helen. “There are many amazing things that will occur at these great medical facilities, yet we know it is really about the special people who inhabit these spaces. We couldn’t be more appreciative of all that the area medical professionals do every single day to support kids and families.”

Cheri DeVos Ehmann is the founder and owner of Baton Collective, a commercial real estate development and business management company with operations in West Michigan. Baton Collective operates several athletic and youth sports programming facilities across the region, provides shared services for family, and also manages retail, restaurant, commercial and office real estate.

In addition, Cheri is a member of the board of directors at her family business, Wakestream Holdings.

Previously, Cheri served as the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Director of Health and Beauty Marketing for Amway, the world’s largest direct-selling company. She was also an Amway board member for 20 years. Cheri has served as the chair of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and as executive vice chair of RDV Sports, and the governing board of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team.

Cheri established the CDV5 Foundation with her five children as a tool to support causes and organizations that are closely aligned with their values, beliefs, and passions. They strive to help children and families through education, health, and wellness initiatives in Greater Grand Rapids and select communities around the world.

Cheri is a graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan and is a past member of the Hope College Business Advisory Council and Hope College Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Steve, live in West Michigan.

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