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(Chelsea Update would like to thank Stephanie Van Koevering for the information in this story.)

A unique $2.5 million lead gift from The Kresge Foundation will support capital improvements to a rehabilitation and skilled care center operated by United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) in Chelsea.

This one-time grant from The Kresge Foundation has been awarded as a special request from the Kresge family and builds on a relationship between UMRC and the Kresge family that spans over 108 years.

“The Kresge family has been dedicated to UMRC since our founding, and we are grateful for their continued devotion and support to further our mission,” said John Thorhauer, UMRC president and CEO. “Our first gift from the family was received in 1908. Since that time, the Kresge family has supported UMRC both financially and through committed board service with the goal of improving the lives of older adults of all income levels.”

The Kresge Foundation’s contribution will fund continuing improvements to the Kresge Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center, built in 1985 and named for Dorothy McVittie Kresge who then served as campaign co-chair.

“Dorothy’s personal leadership and drive led to the Kresge Center, a name that has become synonymous in the region with outstanding health care for older adults,” Thorhauer added.

Doctors throughout southeast Michigan routinely refer patients to UMRC’s Kresge Health Care Center for short-term medical, nursing and rehabilitation needs. Additionally, it offers a home to residents with long-term skilled care needs, the majority of whom are low-income and receive Medicaid.

Cynthia Kresge, granddaughter of Dorothy Kresge and member of The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees, said, “Our family is delighted that The Kresge Foundation recognizes the long-standing relationship between UMRC and four generations of our family.  This grant is being awarded to UMRC in recognition of that shared history and faith-based leadership.  We are honored to continue this legacy of support for UMRC.”

“We consider this a huge success for UMRC,” said Thorhauer. “This support from The Kresge Foundation and inspired by the Kresge family allows us to deliver 21st-century care, technologies and resources in an environment that feels like home for the older adults we serve and to do so with purpose, passion and excellence.”

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