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Digging for Botsford’s Roots

Discovering how Botsford General Hospital came to be requires exploring the era of its founder, Allen Zieger, D.O. During World War II, osteopathic physicians were not commissioned in the military. The war effort created a physician shortage that led to an increased demand for osteopathic physicians and hospital beds in Detroit. Back then, osteopaths were not considered for training or medical staff member privileges at allopathic hospitals.

So in 1944, Dr. Zieger purchased a vacant rooming house in Detroit to start his own 20-bed osteopathic hospital, Zieger Clinic Hospital. It became a fine osteopathic training institution, a tradition that continues today with Botsford's strong partnership with Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

To expand, Dr. Zieger purchased 15 acres in Farmington Hills on which to construct a new 200-bed hospital. It would be named Botsford General Hospital: its property was adjacent to the historic Botsford Inn, a former stagecoach stop. Zieger's professional staff loaned $300,000 to help construct the new hospital.

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Botsford General Hospital opened its doors in 1965 and has been continually growing ever since to meet the health care needs of its communities that rely on Botsford for its uncompromising commitment to excellence and quality in the delivery of personal and compassionate health care. Its emphasis on putting patients first has garnered strong loyalty from patients and their families.

Dr. Zieger served as Botsford General Hospital's CEO until his death in 1984 when the Board of Directors chose Dr. Zieger's son-in-law, Gerson Cooper, as the new president and CEO. Mr. Cooper ran the growing organization known as Botsford Health Care until his retirement in 2008 after more than 50 years of continuous service. Paul E. LaCasse, D.O., MPH - only the third president and CEO of Botsford General Hospital - took over corporate leadership in 2009.