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Finkelstein Hall called a 'game changer' for students

  • A dedication ceremony was held July 17 for Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall on Grand Valley's Health Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • A dedication ceremony was held for Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall on Grand Valley's Health Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
  • President Thomas J. Haas, right, and Raleigh J. Finkelstein
  • Raleigh J. Finkelstein
  • President Thomas J. Haas addresses the crowd.
  • Lucy Finkel, speech-language pathology graduate student
  • Joe Jones, Second Ward city commissioner
  • Ellen Schendel, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs

Posted on July 17, 2018

President Thomas J. Haas said Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall is both an example of what deep collaboration can accomplish and a game changer for students studying health sciences.

Haas made the remarks during a July 17 dedication ceremony for Finkelstein Hall, celebrating the expansion of Grand Valley's Health Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. 

More than 400 people attended the event; another 150 are expected to attend a community open house July 19.

The five-story, 84,000-square-foot building, which opened for classes in May, is located at 500 Lafayette Ave., across I-196 and north of Grand Valley's Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. 

Finkelstein Hall has 16 teaching labs, 90 faculty and staff offices and was awarded LEED® Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

During the ceremony, Haas thanked lead donor Raleigh J. Finkelstein, the 1,100 donors who supported the facility, and Neighbors of Belknap Lookout and Grand Rapids city commissioners for making the expansion a reality. 

"The addition of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall on our expanding Health Campus will allow us to better meet the growing needs of this community," Haas said. "West Michigan depends on Grand Valley's health science graduates and we are committed to providing top quality care in our region and state."

Finkelstein Hall will provide a home for occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, speech-language pathology, sonography, public health, and allied health programs that require intensive interactive learning spaces and the room to work as interprofessional teams.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to help make this expansion happen," said Finkelstein. "Quality health care is vital and very personal to me." Finkelstein then mentioned the death of his two sons and that his daughter has muscular dystropy.

Joe Jones, Grand Rapids Second Ward city commissioner, quoted Coretta Scott King who said the greatness of a community can be measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

"I want to thank Grand Valley for the wisdom to listen, for empathy and discernment," said Jones. "We all worked together from the beginning to create a greater sense of community. Our membership has expanded to include Grand Valley."

Lucy Finkel graduated from Grand Valley in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in music. After working as an opera singer in New York, she has returned to Grand Valley and is currently a speech-language pathology graduate student. 

"Grand Valley is allowing me to merge both of my passions," said FinkeI. "I have a love for the human voice and a love to help others find theirs. The collaborative spaces in this new building and the compassionate faculty will help me pay it forward by becoming a skilled clinician."

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.

Ellen Schendel, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, said the addition of space on the Health Campus will allow Grand Valley to add new health sciences programs as regional and statewide health care providers need them.

"The expanded spaces in the building were specially designed for students to work in teams and the more flexible lab spaces provide real-life health care treatment scenarios," said Schendel.

Grand Valley will celebrate the continued expansion of its Health Campus in October during a groundbreaking ceremony for a third health building — the Center for Interprofessional Health.

The building is under construction right next to the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences on Michigan Street, along the Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids. 

The Center for Interprofessional Health is expected to open in May 2021 and will allow for interaction between students across all health sciences programs and learning with state-of-the-industry simulation and technology.