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Job, party as hospital hires 1,000th employee

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – 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 its 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 said 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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