Community Health Advisory Team


The Community Health Advisory Team (CHAT) is a collaborative effort of multiple health disciplines to evaluate, monitor, and develop protocols and policies about emergent health issues in the Grand Valley State University community. With these tasks in mind, the CHAT assists the Director of Student Health Services with developing processes to spread awareness and mitigate the effects of emergent public health issues. The CHAT also gives the Director of Student Health Services strategic input on future health-related efforts at GVSU by conducting community health-related activities within the GVSU population to determine emerging health issues.


The committee will serve mainly in an advisory capacity to the Director of Student Health Services. However, in the event of a community health crisis (e.g., infectious disease surge), the committee's role becomes functional as a center for emergency response, multi-departmental communication, surveillance, mitigation planning, and protocol implementation under the authority of the Director of Student Health Services Office.

Reporting Structure

The committee reports to the Director of Student Health Services under the Division of Student Affairs. The Director of Student Health Services will bring recommendations to the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Senior Leadership Team as necessary.


The committee is responsible for:

  • Conducting surveillance activities to identify emergent community health issues at GVSU.

  • Developing appropriate materials used in community health issue prevention and awareness.

  • Advising the Director of Student Health Services of recommended policy implementation.

  • Proactively communicating with other departments about policy changes related to community health.

  • Serving as an incident command unit in the event of a community health crisis.

  • Recording meeting minutes and distributing them to members.


The committee will meet a minimum of four times annually. The committee may appoint workgroups to assist in carrying out its mandate and dissolve them as necessary.

Core Members 

  • Sponsor 
    • Kate Harmon
  • Lead
    • Edward Jones II
  • GVSU Community Health Specialist
    • Preeti Kasatkar


Various members of the advisory committee(s) may be pulled into the CHAT depending on expertise/availability.

Infection Outbreak Prevention Sub-team

    • Emily First/Katie Perschbacher
  • Athletics sports medicine
    • Gretchen Goodman
  • Housing
    • Adam Tate
  • University Communications
    • Michele Coffill
  • Academic Affairs
    • Ed Aboufadel
  • Human Resources
    • Deb Sanders
  • Facilities Services
    • Rence Meredith
  • Laker Food Co
    • Paul Kramer
  • Practice Mgr., Family Health Center
    • Brianne Burke
  • Master of Public Health Faculty
    • Ranelle Brew
    • Karen Niemchick 
  • Health Promotions
    • Katie Jourdan


Advisory Resources

  • Medical Director, Campus Health Center (Trinity Health)
    • Robert Reneker, MD
  • Local Health Department (Ottawa and Kent)
  • 1-2 Local Hospital Representatives (e.g., Trinity Health Infection Preventionist)

Internal Advisory Committee (as needed)

  • Director, Counseling Center
    •  Amber Roberts
  • 1 KCON /Health Compliance
    • Tina Barnikow
  • LGBT Resource Center
    • Joey Hulst
  • Registrar
    • Pam Wells
  • Student Health Advisory Council Coordinators
    • Arsean Jackson 
    • Henry J Pena 
    • Teagan Brill 

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Page last modified March 14, 2024