Dan and Jennifer Gilbert announced today a massive partnership that will bring two new medical facilities to Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation is donating $375 million and partnering with Henry Ford Health and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to bring these facilities to the new Henry Ford Health expansion in New Center. Both are very personal to Gilbert and his family.
The Gilbert Family Foundation will team up with Michigan State University to create the Nick Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Research Institute. Gilbert's son Nick died earlier this year at the age of 26 of the genetic disorder, which causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways in the body. The institute will be a part the east campus and cost about $50 million to build. The Gilbert Family Foundation is funding this and committing $190 million to support operations and research over ten years. It will be the first physical facility dedicated to research of neurofibromatosis and it should open in 2027.
“The opportunity for our joint research facility is to conjoin the strengths of world-class academia, clinical research and healthcare,” said MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “That partnership is further strengthened by our partners at the Gilbert Family Foundation to become the first-of-its-kind research institute dedicated completely to a debilitating disease like neurofibromatosis. As a result of this institutional engagement, Detroit will be known for groundbreaking research and patient care. MSU is proud to be part of bringing these plans to fruition.”
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Henry Ford Health will be a 72-bed, 125,000-square-foot rehab facility that will occupy three floors of the new Henry Ford Health tower. $119 million of the $179 million cost of the center will come from the Gilbert Family Foundation, while the additional $60 million will come from Henry Ford Hospital.
The facility will provide inpatient care for those recovering from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other conditions, and $10 million is being donated by the Gilbert Family Foundation to increase access to this health care for low-income Detroiters.
After suffering a stroke in 2019, Dan Gilbert received care from the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.
“Nearly every family will encounter unexpected health challenges at some point. While our family has faced severe health crises, we have been fortunate to receive some of the best medical and rehabilitative care in the country. Through these investments, we aim to enhance access to that same top-notch care for all Detroiters in times of need,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rocket Companies, Co-Founder of the Gilbert Family Foundation and a former Shirley Ryan AbilityLab patient. “Jennifer and I are extremely proud to work alongside Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University to play a part in bringing both the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Nick Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Research Institute to Detroit. These are important resources for Detroiters and residents across the state, and we are hopeful they will attract the brightest minds and most promising research to our rapidly transforming city.”
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab will also expand into Henry Ford Health facilities in Wyandotte and Macomb.
Earlier this year, Henry Ford Health announced a huge partnership with Michigan State University, Tom Gores, and the Pistons with a $2.5 billion development across NW Goldberg (the HFH campus) and into New Center. MSU has now become the majority owner in the nearby Fisher Building. The overall development includes the new HFH tower, in addition to residential, office, and retail space across the neighborhoods.