The Butterworth Hospital History Room is dedicated to the leaders, physicians, staff and volunteers who have devoted their time, talent and energy to the hospital and its patients. This exhibit pays tribute to the many achievements and innovations that took place at Butterworth Hospital, and celebrates our pioneers of medicine and nursing care.

We invite you to journey through more than 130 years of our health care history—beginning with the first six-bed charitable home through all of the incredible advances in medicine, nursing care, technology and our expanding facilities. The exhibit is located on level one along the corridor between the Butterworth Hospital lobby and the entrance to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. It is open to the public between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

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The Butterworth Hospital History Room is dedicated to the leaders, physicians, staff and volunteers who have devoted their time, talent and energy to the hospital and its patients. This exhibit pays tribute to the many achievements and innovations that took place at Butterworth Hospital, and celebrates our pioneers of medicine and nursing care.

We invite you to journey through more than 180 years of our health care history—beginning with the first six-bed charitable home through all of the incredible advances in medicine, nursing care, technology and our expanding facilities. The exhibit is located on level one along the corridor between the Butterworth Hospital lobby and the entrance to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. It is open to the public between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

Richard Edward Emerson Butterworth

1806 to 1888

Richard Butterworth was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, British West Indies. His father, a captain in the British army, was commandant of Fort George. He returned to England while still a child and was educated in Manchester. Following his formal education in civil engineering, he worked on a prototype of the Rocket steam locomotive in 1830 and was involved in the cotton industry.

He immigrated to the United States and arrived in the village of Grand Rapids in 1843. Richard Butterworth purchased land along the Grand River and farmed it until 1850. Later, he discovered plaster rock and built a mill to manufacture stucco plaster. He sold the mill and the land in 1856, and purchased Grand Rapids Iron Works, which produced the pumping engines and machinery for the Grand Rapids City Waterworks. A true industrialist, Richard successfully drilled for coal oil in Pennsylvania and built a refinery in Grand Rapids. Before his death in 1888, he donated both land and money to St. Mark's Home and Hospital. The hospital was renamed in his honor in 1894.

It Began With an Act of Charity

1873 to 1918

Scientists and physicians introduced the modern germ theory of disease in the 19th century. They made it possible to identify both the cause of infectious diseases and how they spread. However, at the end of the century, "wonder drugs" were still unavailable to treat these diseases. And there were no diagnostic tests to see inside the body and determine the physical, chemical and biological effects of disease.

Most health care took place at home. Doctors only were called upon for life-threatening illnesses or accidents. At the time, nursing was one of the few respectable occupations for women. Trained private duty nurses were paid $15 a week and expected to be on call 22 hours a day.

By 1890, Grand Rapids was a growing city with 50 factories, 40 hotels as well as breweries, foundries, sawmills and flour mills. Health concerns included typhoid, dysentery, influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, acute streptococcal infection, scarlet fever and diphtheria. Surgery was required for gunshot wounds, broken limbs and injuries sustained at sawmills.


It Began With an Act of Charity

Left: St. Mark's Church Home, 1873
Right: Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Fuller, ca. 1870

1873 Eight years after the Civil War ended, the women of St. Mark's Episcopal Church established St. Mark's Church Home to care for elderly, homeless and ill parishioners. Mr. and Mrs. Edward P. Fuller loaned a small, furnished house where the women could carry out their work. The Home had accommodations for six people and was soon full.

1876 St. Mark's Church Home was renamed St. Mark's Home and Hospital. Thanks to a donation by the Fuller family, it was relocated to a larger building on 144 Island (Weston) St. Alonzo Platt, MD, was the first house physician and reported that in the first year, there were 148 people seen, 30 admissions and seven births.

1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

St. Mark's Home and Hospital, 1890

1887 Richard Edward. E. Butterworth, a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, donated the site at the corner of Michigan Street and Bostwick Avenue for a new hospital. Two months after this initial gift, Richard Butterworth died, bequeathing an additional endowment of $15,000.The value of his contributions to the hospital totaled $41,500.

1890 The recently completed 100-bed hospital employed a medical staff of 20 physicians and surgeons. Major clinical divisions included medicine; surgery; obstetrics; gynecology; pediatrics; eye; ear; nose and throat; and pathology.

The new hospital had a sky-lit operating room on the third floor and a hand-cranked elevator, which served a dual purpose. With no house telephones, staff called up and down the shaft to each other. The total cost of the new building was $48,000.

Reuben Petersen, MD, a graduate of Harvard Medical College in 1889, was recruited as superintendent and secretary of the new St. Mark's Home and Hospital. In the first year, admissions jumped to 290 patients.

St. Mark's Hospital Training School of Nurses was founded. Once accepted into the diploma program, nurses had to complete 700 hours of theoretical and practical instruction. They were immediately assigned to the wards and learned patient care by observation. Instruction also included preparing, cooking and serving food to the sick. Alice G. Symonds, a graduate of Boston City Hospital and an experienced surgical head nurse, was the first principal.

1893 The first nursing graduation ceremony was held in St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Six women received their diplomas. Three went on to serve in the Red Cross during the Spanish-American War of 1898.

George and Esther Kendall donated funds to build a new nurses' residence called Kendall Home for Nurses.

1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

Children's Ward, 1890
Women's Ward, 1890
1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

First nursing school graduates, left to right:
Luda Konkle, Flora Bohn, Jessica Crichton, Emily Pachu, Jenny Brosseau, and Mary J. Kober, principal, 1891 to 1894
1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

Surgery, ca. 1890

1894 St. Mark's Home and Hospital became a secular institution and was renamed Butterworth Hospital in honor of its benefactor.

The first interns were accepted for training.

1903 The first laboratory was established with a microscope donated by Herbert M. King, MD, and an X-ray machine from Henry Hulst, MD, one of the first roentgenologists (X-ray specialist) in Michigan.

1906 A telephone system and an electric elevator were installed.

1911 Edward Lowe, Richard Butterworth's grandson, and his wife, Susan Blodgett Lowe, bought, remodeled and donated three cottages next to the hospital for maternity and medical patients, and additional housing for nursing students. Susan Lowe was the sister of John Wood Blodgett, founder of Blodgett Memorial Hospital.

1912 Hospital capacity increased to 98 beds. A free outpatient clinic, called a dispensary, opened.

St. Mark's Hospital Training School of Nurses increased enrollment to 45 students.

1913 Upon the recommendation of the City Health Officer, and to help prevent the spread of disease, the hospital was connected to city water.

1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

Top: Nurses in surgery
Bottom Left: Golden Rule Cottage, 1916
Bottom Right: Nurses and babies, 1915

1915 The Lowe family donated the Golden Rule Cottage at Ransom Avenue and Michigan Street to house pediatric patients.

1916 With the purchase of two more cottages, Butterworth Hospital grew to 10 buildings and 150 beds. It also became a member of the American Hospital Association.

An outbreak of smallpox in Grand Rapids forced the hospital to take precautions by not accepting new patients.

1917 The hospital acquired its own X-ray equipment.

1873 to 1918

It Began With an Act of Charity

Left: Maj. Richard Root Smith, MD (middle row, center) and fellow medical officers, 1916
Right: Clinical Laboratory, 1918

1917 The United States entered World War I, and many nurses and doctors joined the military. To replace these nurses, class size at the nursing school increased to 40 students per year.

The influenza epidemic reached Grand Rapids shortly after Armistice Day. Hospital staff began working seven days a week

A registered pharmacist was added to the hospital's services.

A new clinical laboratory was added.

1873 to 1918

Modern Medicine Emerges

1919 to 1950

The first decades of the 20th century brought the discovery of insulin, penicillin, and vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis, tuberculosis and yellow fever. Grand Rapids became the first U.S. city to add fluoride to its drinking water.

World War I and World War II were catalysts for innovation that changed the future of medical and nursing practice. Deaths were reduced with the use of sulfa on wounds, Atabrine® for malaria and dried blood plasma for transfusions. Medical evacuation procedures, advanced surgical techniques, the use of morphine as a painkiller, preventive medicine and psychiatric treatment were advances that changed health care forever.

During World War II, there was another severe nursing shortage in the United States because many volunteered for military duty. Working under the supervision of registered nurses, practical nurses provided hands-on care and made it possible to treat more patients. From this, the concept of delivering nursing care as a team developed.


Modern Medicine Emerges

Butterworth Hospital's first ambulance, 1920

1919 The decision was made to construct a new hospital. With the increased workload, hospital trustees hired a supervisor with both medical and executive training: George Park, MD.

1920 Albert Stickley provided Butterworth Hospital with its first ambulance.

A medical library was established and later named for its benefactors. Julius Amberg and his son David were lawyers who served many terms on the Butterworth Hospital Board of Trustees.

1921 Edward and Susan Lowe donated money and the building site of the new hospital, which totaled nearly $1 million in contributions. As her personal gift, Susan Blodgett Lowe donated the wood paneling in the hospital.

The Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing training program was extended to three years.

1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

Above: The new Butterworth Hospital, 1925
Above right: Edward Lowe, chairman of the board, with cornerstone, 1924

1924 The cornerstone was laid for the new building.

1925 The new hospital housed 200 beds, 50 bassinets, and a 12-bed ward and playroom for pediatric patients.

1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

Nurses in one of the new operating rooms, 1925
The new children's ward, 1925
1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

Left: Dr. Webb prepares for surgery, ca 1925
Right: Medical residents, class of 1925 – 1926

1926 Formal internships began in 1919. Physicians were trained under a rotating program that remained unchanged until the late 1930s.

The old hospital building was converted into the new Kendall Home for Nurses.

An eye clinic and a dental clinic were established.

1928 A department of social services was created.

1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

X-ray viewing room, 1937

1936 Anton G. Hodenpyl bequeathed $250,000 for new X-ray, physical therapy and radium equipment, and to refurbish the Kendall Home, Golden Rule Cottage and cafeteria.

Butterworth Hospital became the eighth hospital in the United States to obtain a deep radiation therapy unit to treat cancer patients.

1938 The hospital acquired its first electrocardiograph machine.

1939 The first students were admitted to the new residency program in surgical and internal medicine.

1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

New X-Ray Equipment, 1937
Deep X-Ray Therapy unit, 1937
The transformers that powered the radiology department, 1939
1919 to 1950

Modern Medicine Emerges

Left: Hospital ward, ca. 1943
Right: Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing Cadet Choir, ca. 1943

1941 The National League for Nursing Education accredited the nursing program at Butterworth Hospital, one of 72 in the nation to be selected.

1943 Because of the war, the hospital's medical and nursing staff was reduced by 40 percent. Eighty staff members were serving in the armed forces.

Butterworth Hospital and other hospitals in Grand Rapids coordinated with the Red Cross and the Office of Civil Defense to organize a field and hospital disaster medical service.

Trustees of the hospital authorized the purchase of equipment to establish a blood bank.

The Frances Payne Bolton Act created the United States Cadet Nurse Corps as a means to recruit students into nursing schools. Butterworth Hospital expanded enrollment to 250 students. With the aid of volunteers, these students provided almost all of the nursing care during the war.

1944 Medical staff bylaws were amended to allow physicians to practice at Butterworth Hospital, regardless of their affiliation with other hospitals.

1945 World War II ended and the hospital again experienced a nursing shortage as many nurses returning from the war preferred to devote themselves to their home and family.

1946 The Butterworth Hospital School of Medical Technology was established by Paul Van Pernis, MD, the hospital's only pathologist.

1947 The community's demand for services continued to grow post-war. Butterworth Hospital saw 13,344 patients in 1947. More than 2,640 babies were born at the hospital, an increase of 57% from the previous year.

Kendall Home for Nurses was converted into six separate apartments for residents and their families.

1949 The United Hospital Building Fund was established for Butterworth, Blodgett and St. Mary's hospitals with a campaign goal of $3,905,000. Plans began for future expansion of all the facilities to better meet the needs of the growing community.

1919 to 1950

Specialization Advances Care

1951 to 1980

After 1950, many of the most feared infectious, epidemic diseases were eliminated. American hospitals were now modern scientific institutions, valuing antiseptics and cleanliness and using medications for pain relief. Between 1950 and 1970, the medical work force tripled to 3.9 million people—more than the steel industry, the automobile industry and interstate railroads combined.

As medicine became more complex, doctors grew more specialized as practitioners. Because new medical procedures took more time, physicians delegated more responsibilities to nurses. By 1980, advances in new treatments, surgical procedures, drugs and technology dramatically changed health care delivery.


Specialization Advances Care

Left: Construction of the west wing
Top Right: M. Annie Leitch, RN
Bottom Right: 1952 Emergency staff practicing CPR, 1952

1951 Following a successful fundraising campaign, the hospital initiated expansion of its facilities with a new west wing.

1952 The new west wing included 155 additional patient beds, a new surgical suite, central supply, a dietary department and an expanded laboratory.
Butterworth Hospital became the first hospital in West Michigan to own a defibrillator. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was now taught to medical and nursing students.

M. Annie Leitch, RN, director of the Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing, left after sixteen years to serve a two-year term as president of the American Nurses Association. Ms. Leitch was a highly respected administrator who was a progressive and energetic advocate for nurses.

1953 New construction changed the main entrance and the address for Butterworth Hospital from 300 Bostwick Ave. NE to 100 Michigan St. NE.

1955 The isotope laboratory was created for the treatment of thyroid and cardiac disorders.

1956 The first Cobalt-60 radiation therapy unit was installed, the third such unit in Michigan.

Larry Birch, MD, was the first appointed director of medical education and was instrumental in expanding the hospital's internship and residency programs.

1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

First outpatient surgery 1958

1958 The cardiac catheterization laboratory opened.

Butterworth Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to perform outpatient surgery.

Kendall Home for Nurses was leveled to build a new nursing residence.

1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

First open-heart surgery, 1959

1959 The first open heart surgery at Butterworth Hospital was performed by Leo Kenney, MD, and R.J. Schlosser, MD. The heart-lung machine was set up by Luis Tomatis, MD, a process that originally took seven hours.

1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

Emergency department entrance, 1960

1960 The south addition was completed and included outpatient clinics and a refurbished emergency department. The east addition included an eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a new playroom, an expanded nursery, and suites for labor and delivery.

1961 After renovations were complete, there were 467 patient beds. Smaller wards replaced the old 16-bed wards and oxygen was piped into every room. Pneumatic tubes connected nursing stations with the lab, pharmacy and other departments.

The hospital acquired its first computer, which occupied nearly all the space in one office.

1962 Pathologist Joseph Mann, MD, published his discovery of the Xga blood group factor, the only sex-linked factor, in “The Lancet,” a prestigious medical journal founded in 1823. Blood group factors provide genetic information for blood typing.

1964 The Oral Cleft Clinic was opened in partnership with the Division of Speech Pathology at Western Michigan University and sponsored by the March of Dimes.

1966 The hospital purchased a Sarns™ Pump Oxygenator Console to use during open heart surgery that reduced the amount of blood needed from 17 pints to four.

1967 William L. Johnston, MD, and his wife, Beverly Johnston, established the fine art collection. Today, with more than 1,200 pieces, it is one of the largest collections of its kind in the United States. Dr. Johnston believed that art played a critical role in healing and wanted to share it with others.

1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

New playroom, 1960
Nurse prepares formula for newborns, 1960
The hospital's first computer occupied
an entire office, 1961
1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

Left: Newborn in isolette, 1973
Right: The new linear accelerator, 1970

1970 A new cancer fighting machine, the linear accelerator, replaced the cobalt therapy unit.

1972 The hospital again expanded to include new laboratories, a 325-seat auditorium, a new surgical suite, intensive care units, a gift shop and a snack bar.

1973 Butterworth Hospital celebrated the 100th anniversary of St. Mark's Home and Hospital.

The Butterworth Hospital Pacemaker Clinic opened, which offered patients the option of checking their device by telephone instead of visiting the clinic.

With $100,000 in donated funds from Gerber® Baby Foods Fund the first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in West Michigan opened.

The neonatal transport team was created to safely bring high risk newborns from other hospitals to the NICU.

1974 A helicopter landing pad on the roof of the hospital was completed.

1975 The National Cancer Institute awarded the clinical oncology program a planning grant to develop a national model for community programs.

1976 The next phase of the building program included a new six-level tower with three patient floors and new facilities for radiology, nuclear medicine, outpatient clinics, social services, outpatient surgery and the emergency department.

The Grand Rapids Clinical Oncology Program, a partnership with Blodgett Memorial Medical Center and St. Mary's Hospital, was housed at Butterworth Hospital.

1951 to 1980

Specialization Advances Care

Emergency room staff with trauma patient 1978

1978 Butterworth Hospital's Emergency Department was designated as a trauma specialty unit.

The Ambulatory Care Center opened, which housed the oncology day surgery unit.

1951 to 1980

Reshaping Health Care Delivery

1981 to 1996

In 1980, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been eradicated. The following year, the first case of HIV in the U.S. was identified. Use of technology exploded with the personal computer, telemedicine, invention of the artificial heart, and use of ultrasound and lithotripsy to remove kidney stones.

Later in the decade, laser technology impacted heart procedures and the first liver transplant from a live donor was performed. Genetic engineering was used to learn more about human biology and manufacture products such as insulin.

The rising cost of health care forced cost-cutting practices such as obtaining tests or procedures outside the hospital setting. With the growth of outpatient procedures, reduced insurance payments and the growing number of Americans without health insurance, hospitals were forced to be more competitive.


Reshaping Health Care Delivery

Hyperbaric chamber, 1982

1981 The first computerized tomographic (CT) scanner was purchased and installed at Butterworth Hospital.

The clinical nutrition laboratory is established to conduct studies on long-term effects of Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), intravenous feeding that bypasses the usual process of eating and digestion.

1982 The first hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Grand Rapids is installed to treat patients for air embolisms, carbon monoxide poisoning, infections and wound care.

1983 A nursing care delivery system called the Clinical Practice Model is implemented. Delivery systems identify who has the accountability for nursing care and clinical outcomes, and ensure higher quality of care.

1985 The Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing closes after 95 years—the result of a national move toward degree nursing programs.

The Western Michigan Brain Injury Network, a unique partnership between Butterworth Hospital, Mary Free Bed Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, and Hope Network was formed to offer full rehabilitation services to those with brain injuries.

1986 The Butterworth Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) begins with three employer groups.

1981 to 1996

Reshaping Health Care Delivery

Left: Aero Med lands on the roof of the hospital, 1987
Right: C. Everett Koop, MD, Surgeon General of the United States, 1989

1987 Aero Med helicopter service transports its first patient.

Butterworth Hospital established the West Michigan Stone Center.

A lithotripter, one of only five in the state, was installed for treatment of kidney stones. The hospital also pioneered a program for extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) procedures.

Health Connections, an educational resource center for women and children, was established.

The Sleep Disorders Center opened and treated 148 patients in its first year.

The Butterworth Foundation is incorporated as a non-profit corporation.

1989 ASK-A-NURSE® is established. During the first year, RNs helped more than 50,000 callers find answers to health-related questions.

The hospital participated in several national research studies that used Exosurf to treat adults and neonates with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS).

Butterworth Foundation sponsors its first Gala which is hosted by C. Everett Koop, MD, H, who served as thirteenth Surgeon General of the United States from 1982 to 1989.

1981 to 1996

Reshaping Health Care Delivery

Robert H. Connors, MD, with first ECMO patient, 1992

1990 Butterworth Hospital added the Storz Modulith SL20 Lithotriptor which offered treatment for both renal and biliary stones.

The American College of Surgeons verified Butterworth Hospital as a Level 1 Trauma Center.

The Mothers Offering Mothers Support (MOMS) program was launched.

West Michigan Laser Center surgical center opened at Butterworth and required training for more than 160 physicians and 80 nurses.

Butterworth and Western Michigan University developed a surgical training program for physician assistants.

1992 The first pediatric patient is treated through the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program. The procedure involved placing the patient on an artificial lung and can be made to operate for several days at a time.

1981 to 1996

Reshaping Health Care Delivery

Top left: Child life activities, 1993
Top right: Left to right: William Gonzalez, president Butterworth Hospital, Richard and Helen DeVos, and Peter C. Cook, 1993
Bottom right: Staff members received this commemorative calendar, 1994

1993 Richard and Helen DeVos donated $5 million and the 10-story center tower was renamed the Helen DeVos Women and Children's Center.

The Butterworth Hospital Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Team was formed to care for patients with heart birth defects, the first of its kind in West Michigan.

Peter C. and Pat Cook pledged $2 million for the Health Sciences Research & Education Institute which established Butterworth Hospital as a major teaching and research medical facility that included expansion of existing library and technology services.

The hospital received a Frey Foundation grant to initiate funding for Child Life Services , a program to provide therapeutic, diversional play for patients, siblings and parents.

1994 Butterworth Hospital celebrated 100 years of service to the community.

The pediatric surgery expansion included the addition of a new reception/holding area, induction rooms and four new operating rooms.

The first West Michigan Chapter of “Operation Smile” surgery was completed on an 18-year old woman from Kiev, Ukraine.

1995 The Visiting Nurse Association celebrated 100 years of service and became a member of Butterworth Health Corporation.

The Continuing Care Group was established.

1996 The Lettinga Cancer Center was established, which was named in recognition of a major gift from Bill and Sharon Lettinga.

1981 to 1996

Building for Future Generations

1997 to 2010

In the late 1990s, health care continued to be very competitive. Hospitals devoted more resources to advanced technology, and specialty and subspecialty care. The Clinton administration attempted to address health care reform with no success. However, there was greater focus on increased accountability for the cost and quality of care. Some health care systems, including Spectrum Health, began posting prices and quality outcomes on public websites. Patient safety and best practices, including evidenced-based medicine, became priorities. In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Affordable Care Act, which promised sweeping health care reform for hospitals, physicians and insurance companies.

During this time, Michigan Street was coined the “Medical Mile” because of its concentration of health care institutions. Butterworth Hospital became the flagship hospital for the Spectrum Health Medical Center, which includes Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion. New neighbors arrived, including the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Secchia Center, the Van Andel Institute and the Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. Spectrum Health's partnerships with these institutions offer patients specialized treatments, a wealth of new medical talent, and the latest clinical advancements and trials.


Building for Future Generations

Above left: Media covered the signing of the merger, 1997
Right: Renucci Hospitality House, 1999

1997 Spectrum Health was formed on September 19, 1997, almost a year after the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan issued its October 1996 opinion approving the merger of Blodgett Memorial Medical Center and Butterworth Health Corporation

1998 DeVos Children's Hospital performed West Michigan's first pediatric bone marrow transplant.

1999 The Renucci Hospitality House, a home away from home for families with hospitalized loved ones, opened next to Butterworth Hospital, thanks to a generous donation from Mr. and Mrs. Peter Renucci and a successful capital campaign.

2001 Spectrum Health was the first hospital in West Michigan to provide radioimmune therapy with Zevalin® for lymphoma patients.

2002 The Betty Ford Diagnostic Breast Center used West Michigan's first R2™ ImageChecker® breast cancer detection system.

2003 With a $1.2 million commitment from the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation, DeVos Children's Hospital established West Michigan's first full-service pediatric nephrology program for children with hypertension, urological renal disease, autoimmune disease and kidney stone disease.

1997 to 2010

Building for Future Generations

Meijer Heart Center, 2004

2004 Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center opened following a $30 million capital campaign that raised nearly $35 million. It was the first heart center in West Michigan.

The Wege Foundation Cardiovascular Observation Unit at Meijer Heart Center became the first accredited chest pain center in Michigan.

2005 Surgeons at Meijer Heart Center performed the first prosthetic endovascular thoracic aneurysm graft procedure in West Michigan. The procedure repairs abnormal bulges in the wall of the aorta from the heart down through the chest.

According to the Michigan Inpatient Database, Spectrum Health ranked first in volumes among hospitals that perform open-heart surgery, including coronary bypass grafts and valve surgery.

DeVos Children's Hospital received United Network for Organ Sharing certification, allowing pediatric patients to receive kidney transplants in West Michigan.

1997 to 2010

Building for Future Generations

Above: Aeromed helicopters, 2007
Below: The new cancer pavilion, 2009

2006 Mr. and Mrs. Tom Fox donated $1 million to Spectrum Health to purchase the da Vinci® Surgical System, a robotic device for minimally invasive surgeries.

A capital campaign was launched for the new children's hospital. It also was announced that the new facility would be called Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. The first gifts to the campaign were $12.5 million from each second generation DeVos family—Dick and Betsy DeVos, Dan and Pam DeVos, Bob and Cheri VanderWeide, and Doug and Maria DeVos— for a total of $50 million. Overall, the campaign raised $103 million in two years.

2007 Aero Med Spectrum Health celebrated its 20th anniversary of transporting critically ill and inured individuals to Butterworth, Blodgett and other hospitals in Michigan.

2008 Spectrum Health Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion opened. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Meijer, lead donors of the facility, chose to name the building in honor of longtime employees, friends and health advocates, Earl and Donnalee Holton and Harvey Lemmen.

1997 to 2010

Building for Future Generations

Above: Nurses celebrate Magnet® status, 2009

2009 Blodgett and Butterworth hospitals and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital earned Magnet Recognition® status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion became the first health care facility in Michigan to receive LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Spectrum Health was awarded full accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), making us one of just 200 organizations worldwide and the only private, not-for-profit hospital system in Michigan with this accreditation. The AAHRPP demands adherence to rigorous safeguards and the highest ethical standards for research participants.

2010 Spectrum Health was named a top 10 U.S. health system by Thomson Reuters in an annual study evaluating clinical quality data.

1997 to 2010

Building for Future Generations

Top left: Helen DeVos Children's Hospital exterior, 2010
Bottom left: Lobby, 2010
Right: Patient room, 2010

2010 Spectrum Health was named a top 10 U.S. health system by Thomson Reuters in an annual study evaluating clinical quality data.

Spectrum Health's Comprehensive Breast Care Program was granted three-year full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. In addition, Spectrum Health introduced a mobile mammography unit, bringing state-of-the-art digital breast screening to West Michigan.

Spectrum Health received approval from the Michigan Department of Community Health to perform heart and lung transplants, as well as adult bone marrow transplants.

The Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute and the Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program were established, thanks to generous gifts from Fred and Lena Meijer, and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.

Asghar Khaghani, MD, joined Spectrum Health to lead the Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Khaghani, a world-renowned transplant surgeon, performed more than 1,000 heart transplants and more than 5,000 cardiovascular surgeries during his career in Great Britain.

Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion was the first clinical site in the world to offer Siemens Biograph™ mCT, a high definition PET scanner with 64-slice CT. Spectrum Health also began using a new minimally invasive procedure called endobronchial ultrasound to diagnose lung cancer and other diseases in the chest. The state-of-the-art technology allows physicians to make diagnoses without conventional surgery.

Spectrum Health, in cooperation with Van Andel Research Institute and Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan, announced plans to develop a Phase I clinical trial program.

The American College of Radiology named Spectrum Health Betty Ford Diagnostic Breast Center at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, the only Grand Rapids health care provider to earn this distinction.

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital was verified a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.

The opening of the new 14-story Helen DeVos Children's Hospital was celebrated in December 2010. The new hospital offcially opened to patients on January 11, 2011.

Spectrum Health Surgeons performed the first heart transplant in West Michigan. A team headed by internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Asghar Khaghani, MD, performed the transplant. Cardiothoracic surgeon Robert L. Hooker, MD, assisted in the procedure which took about 10 hours.

1997 to 2010

A Commitment to Children


On September 1, 1993, DeVos Children's Hospital opened as the first children's hospital in West Michigan. But the story of how Grand Rapids became home to the children's hospital began 20 years earlier. In 1973, Dr. John Wilson, who had been the pediatrician for the Gerber children, approached the Gerber Baby Foods Fund for support. Dr. Wilson's vision was to have a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Butterworth Hospital. Dr. Wilson's compassionate plea resulted in a $100,000 gift to establish the NICU. The following year, Leonard Radecki, MD, was hired as the first neonatologist.

By the late 1980s, the NICU was so successful that there was a growing demand for other pediatric subspecialty care. A concerned group of pediatricians articulated their vision for a children's hospital so families wouldn't be forced to travel across the state for specialized pediatric care.

In 1993, Richard and Helen DeVos made a $5 million gift to raise the bar for pediatric health care services in West Michigan. That gift helped fund pediatric programs including the growth of hematology/oncology services and the purchase of an ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) machine to provide a life-saving treatment for babies and children with severe lung failure.

The children's hospital continued to add new programs so that children and their families could stay close to home for care. Today, the region's infants, children and adolescents benefit from the most comprehensive scope of specialized services in the area. More than 150 physicians in more than 40 pediatric specialties care for thousands of patients every year.

Thanks to the many dedicated physicians and staff who believed that excellent pediatric care could be delivered right here in Grand Rapids. Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is now one of West Michigan's finest treasures, making a difference in the lives of children and their families every day.

A Legacy of Giving


A spirit of giving began in the very early days of St. Mark's Home and Hospital with one of its members, Richard E. E. Butterworth. Mr. Butterworth donated the land where Butterworth Hospital stands today along with additional funds totaling $41,500.

Mr. Butterworth's legacy of giving back to the community he loved grew into what is now the Spectrum Health Medical Center, which includes Butterworth Hospital, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center and Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion. Over the years, community support made it possible to expand programs and services at Butterworth Hospital as health care became more sophisticated, and it became possible to provide more advanced treatments and therapies close to home.

Grand Rapids has long been recognized for its unusual philanthropic spirit and generosity. Butterworth Hospital and today's Spectrum Health Medical Center are proof of one community's unwavering commitment to health care. This legacy was established by donors through gifts of all sizes.

The Butterworth Foundation was established in 1987 and later evolved to become the Spectrum Health Foundation and DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation in 1998. Since that time, individuals and organizations have given more than $250 million to our foundations.

Over the years, our donors have helped save and change lives by funding services, programs, equipment, research, education and facilities. Every donation makes a difference for our patients, their families and our dedicated health care professionals. Every donor is appreciated and valued as a member of the Butterworth Hospital family.

Butterworth Hospital
Auxiliary Guilds

Butterworth Hospital Auxiliary Guild presidential gavels, 1901 – 1982
These ceremonial mallets are inscribed with each guild president’s name and years served. They were a symbol of authority and were used to bring each guild meeting to order.

From the beginning, our volunteer guilds have played a critical role in the success of Butterworth Hospital. We thank them for their time-honored commitment, and ongoing financial support of our programs and services. Their dedication and generous spirit are invaluable to our patients and families.

1887 Housekeepers Guild, Diet Kitchen Guild,
Sallie Bender Guild

1906 Golden Rule Society

1930 Junior Guild

1946 Susan Lowe Guild, Marilyn Watson Guild

1947 Junior Golden Rule Guild, 1959 Porter Guild

1951 Cora Barber Guild, Junior Diet Kitchen Guild,
Kendall Guild

1951 Mollie Booth Guild, Sallie Bender Guild

1954 Nellie Clements Guild

1956 Mary Riste Guild, Marilyn Watson Guild

1959 Porter Guild

1967 Diet Kitchen Guild, Dorathy Swift Guild

1999 P.O.R.T. Guild