Campus Sustainability Spotlight

December Spotlight: College of Health Professions


The vision of the College of Health Professions is to create an environment that is recognized and respected for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to the community, our professions, and the constituents we serve.
We will be recognized for our collegiality, collaboration, evidence based practice and development of life.

The College of Health Professions mission is to prepare exceptional professionals who will impact the health and well-being of the larger community.


Sustainability Efforts

The departments and programs in the College of Health Professions continually practices the use of Blackboard in support of providing student with course materials to reduce the use of paper.  The Therapeutic Recreation program has utilized Blackboard in other means to provide their students with manuals for Internships and Fieldwork and placement paperwork.  Other departments such as, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies are using iPads and eReserve in providing necessary course materials and communication with clinical sites.  Our Student Services office now uses iPads when conducting Transfer Student Orientations.

There has also been a push in office practice of recycling, thermostat control, powering down at the end of the day, participation in the “take the steps” initiative by using stairs vs. elevators.  This is in place for every office and suite in the college.

Virtual Learning has been established in a number of college department and programs.  Allied Health Sciences offers hybrid sections of AHS 100 and AHS 495 year round.  Occupational Therapy offers a weekend hybrid program receiving faculty advising once per semester.  For non-local students, these are frequently completed using Skype, ooVoo, or Bb Chat to allow a face-to-face conversation over distance with no need to drive to CHS.  Physician Assistant Studies is in development of a distance learning site with Traverse City, providing students in both locations video feed within the same classroom utilizing technology within the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences building, reducing the cost of faculty and student travel.

Many of the departments and programs in the college require a clinical component and have taken measures in establishing a sustainability routine.  The Medical Laboratory Sciences program provides clinical placements in the West Michigan area to reduce the travel costs for both faculty and students. Within the Radiologic and Imaging Sciences department, Radiation Therapy  has changed their method of clinical evaluations from paper to electronic as of Spr/Sum 2011.  This change has been embraced by clinical instructors and staff, drastically cutting down the time it takes to complete the evaluation due to the fact that the clinical instructors distribute the evaluations to all of the staff that the student has worked with instead of compiling a collaborative evaluation—the evaluations are more thorough.  The department is reviewing this process and hopes to implement this tool throughout the department.  Radiologic and Imaging Sciences faculty has determined a route of travel when visiting clinical sites to optimize time and alleviate mileage costs.

Laboratories are an essential part with the majority of departments and programs within the college.  The Medical Laboratory Sciences program has taken cost effective steps by obtaining lab coats and some supplies by the clinical community.  Some of the program’s lab equipment is purchased at reduced cost from the local clinical community and vendors.  Laboratory efforts within the Occupational Safety and Health Management program have included recycling batteries, outdated equipment, double-sided printing, and re-use of disposable clothing within limits. Occupational Therapy has taken the following steps in maintaining their laboratory space by using motion detection lights.  A number of OT lab assignments require the use of splinting material (thermoplastics).  The faculty and students have begun saving the scraps generated by these assignments in order to create a stock of usable, smaller pieces of material that can be (and have been) used to modify equipment and tools.

Physical Therapy has recently converted their current admission process to the PT centralized admissions system to reduce paper waste for students and GVSU, increase COT efficiency with no cost to GVSU, and increase the number of applications to the PT program.

Physician Assistant Studies is developing Media Swap in 4th floor CHS library with Nursing. This will bring in magazines or books that have been read or movies that have been watched and swap them out for ‘new to you’ items.


Sustainability Events and Service Opportunities

The Therapeutic Recreation program is engaged in several service learning activities. The students get the opportunity to work with organizations such as Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, David’s House, Spectrum Continuing Care, and Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Division of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital within their curriculum course load. 

Both the Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies departments have students that volunteer and provide their services at local Pro-Bono Clinics. Both departments also sponsor running/wheel chair events.  The Physician Assistant Studies department sponsors the Heels to Heal 5K race and the Physical Therapy department sponsors the Wheel Run events every fall.

In May 2013 the College of Health Professions, in collaboration with GVSU’s Nursing department and Spectrum Health, in a Mock Disaster at the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.

The Allied Health Sciences department sponsors the annual summer sHaPe camp for Michigan residents, boys and girls entering the 8th or 9th grade in the fall. This unique camp is a one-week day program introduction to the Health Professions.


Sustainability Related Classes

HPR 482 - China/Japan Friendship Hospital

OT 401 - Role of Occupation in Human Development

PT 682 - Health and Wellness



Page last modified June 29, 2016