Across Campus

January 13, 2019

GVSU, Tulane researchers report more access to health care

Researchers from Grand Valley and Tulane universities report more people in West Michigan and Detroit have access to health care because of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

Kevin Callison, assistant professor of public health and tropical medicine at Tulane, and Sebastian Linde, assistant professor of economics at GVSU, reported results from the Health Check report, which analyzes health care access, risk factors and demographic data from Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon counties and compares data to U.S. and Michigan results.

Their report highlighted the 10th annual West Michigan Health Care Economic Forecast, held January 11 on GVSU's Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Callison said the number of adults in West Michigan and Detroit lacking health insurance decreased in 2016, the latest reporting year, from 2011 figures. In West Michigan, 7.3 percent of adults lack health insurance, compared to 12.3 percent in 2011; in Detroit, 8.6 percent of adults lack health insurance, compared to nearly 17 percent in 2011.

"As a result of increased insurance coverage, access to a routine source of care has increased," Callison said.

Kevin Callison

Kevin Callison

Callison and Linde also found medical expenditures for chronic conditions decreased in West Michigan. The average expenditures for someone diagnosed with coronary artery disease fell by 13 percent from 2016 to 2017. They noted, however, data received from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, and Priority Health does not allow for determining causes of the decline.

Health risk factors for Michigan residents were analyzed. Selected factors are listed below.

  • More than 35 percent of adults in West Michigan and Detroit are overweight, and about 30 percent are considered obese in both locations.
  • Slightly more than 7 percent of adults in West Michigan are heavy drinkers, compared to less than 6 percent of Detroit adults.
  • Reports of binge drinking (more than five drinks for men at one occasion) dropped slightly from 2015 results to 19 percent for West Michigan adults, while the number for Detroit adults rose slightly to 19 percent.

The entire report is posted online at Data was provided by Spectrum Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, and Priority Health.

Sebastian Linde

Sebastian Linde

Nominations sought for three student awards

The Dean of Students Office seeks nominations for three awards presented to students: Gayle R. Davis Award, Thomas M. Seykora Award for Outstanding Leadership, and Kenneth R. Venderbush Leadership Award.

  • The Davis Award honors a first-generation undergraduate student who is the first in their family to attend college.
  • The Seykora Award recognizes seniors who have made significant contributions to the campus community.
  • The Venderbush Award recognizes one senior who had blended exceptional leadership and academic achievement. Details and nomination forms are available online at Deadline to submit nominations for all three awards is February 8.

Help students prepare for registration

Students who receive personal attention from faculty members are more likely to stay in school. As registration for spring/summer, fall and winter classes approaches, below are some ways to help students register for the coming year.


  • Encourage students to check myPath now so they understand what classes they need to stay on track to a timely graduation. Remind them of the Grand Finish grant (visit for eligibility).
  • Encourage students to meet with their advisors with any issues or questions about their path to graduation.
  • Remind students to register for classes beginning March 18. Classes for Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 will be viewable in Banner on March 1 and registration begins on March 18. Spring/summer classes will be viewable on February 15 with the same registration date.


There are new course offerings available in-person, hybrid and online for the spring/summer semester, as well as other semesters. Visit for details.

ORCI announces changes to research practices

The Office of Research Compliance and Integrity (ORCI) announced the following changes impacting responsible conduct of research training and human subjects research.

Grand Valley changed its online service provider for research compliance training from Epigeum to CITI, effective January 2 and access to Epigeum will end on January 15. Faculty members who want to retain a copy of certificates from Epigeum should download it before that date, instructions are posted online at

All personnel on human subjects research protocols are required to complete RCR training and Human Subjects Research training. Certificates from both CITI and Epigeum will continue to be accepted for this purpose.

Revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (the "Common Rule") will be effective January 21, barring additional delays from the federal government. An overview of changes will be posted online at ORCI staff members will host workshops to discuss changes January 23-25 and offer drop-in help hours, visit Sprout at for details. The Human Research Review Committee will officially be renamed to the Institutional Review Board effective January 21. Questions about these changes can be directed to the ORCI at or x13197.

Grants available for SAP projects

The Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Office of Sustainability Practices and the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) invites proposals from faculty who wish to collaborate with students to study the systems in place at the Luce Street site.

Faculty members or students who have a faculty mentor can apply for the Sustainable Agriculture Place-based Project Grants.

Amy McFarland, SAP academic coordinator and assistant professor of food and agricultural studies, said past projects have focused on tree planting and volunteer attitudes, biomass production and the effects of willow cultivation and identifying species of bacteria on certain plants. Deadline to submit a proposal is January 31. Details and an online application form are available at

Page last modified January 13, 2019