President Mantella at the ribbon cutting ceremony

The President's Page

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West Michigan continues to build its reputation as a premier destination for health care, as Grand Valley solidifies its role as the leading provider of the professionals hospitals and clinics desperately need. 

The university’s third magnificent health building, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health, is open on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile and was dedicated November 3. Thanks to more than 700 donors, including support from the State of Michigan, it is filled with dazzling technology and collaborative spaces. The DCIH includes one of the largest interprofessional, comprehensive, state-of-the-art simulation centers in Michigan. But what is most critical to the success of Grand Valley as a talent pipeline is the learning that goes on in those spaces and what is then taken by graduates into communities and facilities throughout the region. The DCIH allows for cross-disciplinary innovation and collaboration that keeps GVSU graduates at the forefront of their professions. 

The active learning that takes place inside our Health Campus exemplifies GVSU’s commitment to experiential learning, equity and community impact. The Kirkhof College of Nursing this summer received a $2.2 million federal grant to partner with two other health care organizations to support working nurses from underrepresented backgrounds who want to obtain bachelor’s degrees. Nursing has another grant that established Project Thrive, which offers fully integrated behavioral health and primary care to vulnerable populations in Grand Rapids’ Heartside District. 

Another example of the university’s hands-on work with the community is the Community Hearing Clinic, in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, which opened in the spring in collaboration with an outside company. Graduate students in the audiology program are able to run the clinic and assess patients under the supervision of faculty members. Students get clinical experience and community members get care they otherwise would not be able to receive.

Students on our health campus are getting what all GVSU students get — a liberal education, integrated with professional education grounded in our traditions and our values. We are working on our new strategic plan, Reach Higher 2025. This is not a plan that will be crafted for a new, unrelated direction to our beloved Grand Valley State University. It is an elevation of the best of Grand Valley, shaped for a disrupted and ever-changing world. It amplifies our opportunity and deepens our impact by extending our work over a lifetime. It creates more opportunity for an education that allows students to practice their pursuits.  

When you read about our newest facility, operating to support a GVSU education, I ask you to think of Reach Higher 2025 and how important our work to increase well-prepared health professionals who can operate at the nexus of human skills, science, technology and industry is to the understanding of our community and world. Think of the importance of interdisciplinary preparation, in conditions imagined and simulated, as well as clinical work, so students react effectively to rare conditions. GVSU is offering an education that stretches to meet expansive, and even dire, needs for health care professionals in our state. Offering more of these exceptional opportunities is at the heart of Reach Higher 2025. The plan we are crafting together is not simply focused on new territory, it pulls from our rich traditions and all that is great about Grand Valley. As a community, we commit to advance educational equity, empower the educational experience and assure we are available to Lakers and our community to support a lifetime of learning.

Stay connected to GVSU and its plans for the future — the best is yet to come.

President Philomena V. Mantella

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