Borgess raising money to update Easy Street rehab facility
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A unique physical therapy center in West Michigan is looking for some help to step into this millennium.
Easy Street is an in-patient rehab center at Borgess that lets people try out real world scenarios with the help of a physical therapist before leaving the hospital.
However, it hasn't been updated since it was built in 1993, and many of the pieces are outdated and falling apart.
Stepping into Easy Street is like taking a walk into Kalamazoo’s past.
Borgess Foundation Development Officer Anne Witherspoon said, "As you can see this car- people don't use cars like this anymore so we'd like to update it so people can be more acclimated to the real world.”
From the outdated car to their grocery store set up that was donated to them nearly 25 years ago, everything here is slightly outdated, which doesn’t always help their patients in the best way.
"This is a big challenge to have to go back into the community and have to go to the grocery store. It can be kind of overwhelming,” said Sandy Willie, an occupational therapist at Borgess.
The center also includes different walking surfaces, a booth to practice going out to eat. a pretend banking center and other scenarios to help ease the anxiety of life after an injury or medical issue.
"This is the only space like this is southwest Michigan,” said Witherspoon.
And while this rehab area helps dozens of patients each day get used to life outside of the hospital, the Borgess Foundation is working to make it more functional.
"A lot of people like to do things online and we don't have any of the technology to back that up,” said Willie.
The Borgess Foundation hopes to raise $600,000 to expand the space and give it a more modern feel so as people walk out of Easy Street they know they'll be ready for life today.
"It would be really wonderful to have a person be able to experience in 2016 as opposed to 1993,” said Willie.
The Borgess Foundation only has about $100,000 of it $600,000 goal.
They are looking for sponsors along with donors of items and money.
For more information visit the Borgess Foundation’s website here: https://borgessfoundation.org/donate/form