Grand Rapids Hospital Celebrates 1,000th Employee

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Cake, applause, a red carpet -- not a typical first day at work.

Well, it turns out that Ashley Wharton isn't your typical physician's assistant. A Grand Rapids hospital celebrated her arrival Monday because she's the 1,000th employee.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has added 267 workers since summer 2011, a 36 percent increase, after deciding to remain independent and not merge with another hospital.

The Grand Rapids Press says Wharton was a bit overwhelmed by all the fuss. She will work in the admissions department, evaluating new patients and helping others leave the hospital.

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