I closed the preceding story with the statement that you're on your own when it comes to making sure that you and your loved ones get the proper health care from River City's medical monopoly, Spectrum Health. Maybe some of you are tempted think that because Dick DeVos Jr. has now pledged to protect the little guy against rapacious Big Oil, he will do the same against Big Medicine up on the hill.
Don't count on it. Gubernatorial candidate Dick Jr. won't be addressing the failure of both state and local governments to police the problems at Spectrum Health and the Kent County medical examiner's office that have been revealed by the tragedies of the Jennings and Sallie families. The reason is simple. The DeVos family has mired their business interests in the financial well-being of Spectrum Health. The old man, Rich DeVos, was the founding chairman of the health care colossus and remains an active member of the board. Dick Jr. headed the Butterworth Foundation, a non-profit that solicits funds for the expansion of Spectrum Health, and keeps his hand in the game with his recent investment -- ahem, gift -- to the Spectrum's children's hospital that bears his mother's name.
With this influence over Spectrum, the old man has hitched the family's star to the big Michigan Street medical complex which will be paid for with income from Spectrum Health and its affiliates, doctors, contractors, and other related business activities. Plus, there are all the entanglements that the DeVoses' partners, the Van Andel family, have with Spectrum Health through the Van Andel Institute. So, don't look to Dick Jr. to watch your back on this one, dear readers.