Students utilize advanced simulation technology and interactive laboratories in the new Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health

Nursing students using virtual anatomy table.
Nursing students use the virtual anatomy table which can be programmed to show not only normal anatomy but a long list of pathological conditions.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Grand Valley State University students are utilizing advanced simulation technology and interactive laboratories in the new Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health on GVSU’s Health Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

 The five-story, 166,000-square-foot health center at 333 Michigan St. on the Medical Mile opened in May. It is the third and flagship building on the Health Campus, joining the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall.

The DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health includes one of the largest interprofessional, comprehensive, state-of-the-art simulation centers in Michigan.

The new health building is helping Grand Valley accommodate expanding programs in emerging and growing fields at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Its 17 classrooms and 12 interactive laboratories are equipped to create interprofessional team environments and encourage collaboration.

Daniel and Pamella DeVos were the lead donors for the project, with another 700 donors generously providing more than $20 million to help make this building a reality. The State of Michigan provided $29 million for the $70 million project. 

Physician assistant, nursing and occupational therapy students work in a sim lab with a mannequin.
Physician assistant, nursing and occupational therapy students assess "Lucina," a mannequin that mirrors the physical traits of a human. "Lucina" is having a baby and can be programmed to talk, display a range of medical conditions, and even give birth.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Dan and Pamella DeVos said the new center is filled with the latest technology and learning labs that will further enhance the tremendous health care educational experience at Grand Valley.

“This building’s mission is focused on preparing future practitioners to work together – in partnership – in a clinical setting for the benefit of the patient. The quality of care in our region depends on how we prepare the health care professionals of tomorrow and we’re eager to have this facility play a role in students reaching their full potential and patients receiving exemplary care in local health care facilities.”

Grand Valley President Philomena V. Mantella said: “The completion of this building is the apex of Grand Valley’s Health Campus expansion, further enabling the university’s leadership as the primary talent pipeline for frontline health professionals and nurses in West Michigan and our state. The DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health will allow cross-disciplinary innovation and collaboration that will keep Grand Valley graduates at the forefront of their professions.”

PA students work with plastinated specimens.
Students in the Physician Assistant Studies program work with plastinated specimens.
Valerie Hendrickson
Plastinated specimens.
Plastinated specimens can last for decades.
Valerie Hendrickson

State-of-the-science spaces in the building include electronic 3D modeling and imaging of the body and its organs, plastinated specimens, a virtual anatomy table and classrooms with interactive walls and floors.

“Our simulation spaces were designed to be forward thinking and relevant for the next 25 to 50 years,” said Katie Branch, director of simulations. “The spaces have room to grow and the technology in them is cutting-edge, so it will be relevant in the future.” 

Branch said with the addition of 28,375 square feet of simulation space in the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health, Grand Valley now has a total of more than 67,800 square feet of simulation space on the Health Campus.

“It’s pretty remarkable. And, it’s designed to be inclusive so all spaces can be used throughout our academic disciplines,” she said.

Branch said the virtual anatomy table can be programmed to show not only normal anatomy but a long list of pathological conditions. “Students are able to look at a wide spectrum of human ailments,” she said. “Students can electronically dissect every layer of the skin and muscle down to the bone.”

Interactive walls in classroom.
Classrooms with interactive walls and floors immerse students in various scenarios.
Valerie Hendrickson
Classroom with interactive walls.
Interactive walls programmed to look like a hospital setting.
Valerie Hendrickson
Classrooms with interactive walls can be programmed to look like almost anything.
Classrooms with interactive walls can be programmed to look like almost anything.
Valerie Hendrickson

Nursing student Doreen Siriboe-Achampong described the new technology as “absolutely phenomenal.”

“We don’t have to visualize scenarios; this new technology mirrors what happens in the clinical setting,” said Siriboe-Achampong. “The new simulation will allow students to flourish.”

Alyssa Burke, a student in the Physician Assistant Studies program, said: “It’s exciting to have access to interactive simulations that allow us to practice care in a variety of environments. It builds confidence.”

Model Living Suite
Model Living Suites are used by occupational therapy students to learn how to teach patients who have suffered a life-altering injury or medical condition how to use adaptive equipment to attend to activities of daily living.
Valerie Hendrickson
Operating Room.
Nursing students in the operating room learn proper sterile techniques like gowning and gloving.
Valerie Hendrickson

The new building features a spectacular Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, a gift from Daniel and Pamella DeVos. 

The piece, entitled Laker Blue and Opaline Persian Chandelier, is representative of the artist’s Persian series. The blown glass installation is approximately 114 x 342 x 84 and highlights more than 400 works of art throughout the building with contemporary glass artworks on every floor. 

Chihuly glass sculpture
The new building features a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture designed specifically for Grand Valley, a gift from Daniel and Pamella DeVos. @2021 Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Kendra Stanley-Mills
Chihuly glass sculpture.
The Chihuly is entitled "Laker Blue and Opaline Persian Chandelier." @2021 Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Kendra Stanley-Mills
Chihuly glass sculpture.
The Chihuly highlights more than 400 works of art throughout the building with contemporary glass artworks on every floor. @2021 Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Kendra Stanley-Mills

The Kirkhof College of Nursing is housed in the building, bringing faculty and students together to accommodate collaborative and interactive learning.

Grand Valley offers the most comprehensive array of health sciences programs in Michigan with 20 programs in nursing and health professions. More than 5,000 students are currently enrolled in health-related courses.

A dedication ceremony for the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health is scheduled for November 3.

DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health.
DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health on Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids.
Amanda Pitts
Roof top.
Green roof provides detention and treatment of rainfall.
Valerie Hendrickson
Rooftop terrace.
Rooftop terrace.
Valerie Hendrickson