Health Forum of West Michigan

Health Forum of West Michgian


The Health Forum of West Michigan is hosted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Health and Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center at Grand Valley State University and is scheduled on the first Friday of each month during the academic year.  The forums are coordinated under the collaborative leadership of our community partners with sponsorship provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The purpose of the Health Forum is to offer a venue for open discussion on health topics pertinent to the well-being of the community.

All Health Forum of West Michigan events are free and open to the public.

Have a topic suggestion for a future Forum?  Submit your ideas here!

Would you like to receive invitations to our events?  Sign up for our e-mail list!

2019-2020 Health Forum Schedule

Welcome to the 2019-2020 series of Health Forum of West Michigan where we engage health care practitioners, health care and business administrators, educators, students, and community members in critical health-related conversations that are so important to our communities.We welcome both our long-standing participants and individuals who might be new to the Forum. Our panels of experts are not only health care providers and administrators, but also government, business, and community leaders who bring diverse perspectives to the discussions. The Health Forums are offered on the first Friday of the month during our academic year from October to April at one of the beautiful buildings on the downtown Grand Valley campus. We will continue to identify topics that are timely and relevant to the West Michigan community. We always welcome community input and topic suggestions can be made at the link above. 

We hope you will consider attending one or more of our Health Forums in the next academic year!



Friday, October 4, 2019


Richard M. DeVos Center
Loosemore Auditorium
401 Fulton Street West
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

7:30 a.m. Light breakfast
8:00 a.m. Presentations
9:30 a.m. Conclusion



Jean Nagelkerk, Ph.D., F.N.P, FNAP
Vice Provost for Health
Grand Valley State University



Jessie Riley
Resident Technology Manager
Holland Home

Brent Nowak,
Executive Director, applied Medical DeVice Institute (aMDI)
Grand Valley State University

Bimal Shah, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Ted Spooner
Senior Director
Zimmer Biomet Connected Health



Upcoming topics:

November 1, 2019
Legalized Marijuana – The Health Risks and Benefits

December 6, 2019
Bullying, Depression, and Suicide

January 10, 2020
West Michigan Health Care Economic Forecast

February 7, 2020
The Talent Pipeline and Health Care Workforce

March 6, 2020

April 3, 2020
Food is Medicine



Please Note:

Topics are subject to change.  Please check for Health Forum updates on this web page throughout the year.

PARKING: Please use the GVSU Seward Parking Ramp/Lot accessible from either Lake Michigan Drive/Pearl Street or West Fulton Street.



Questions may be directed to Diane Dykstra at or 616-331-5876.

Past Events - PowerPoint Presentations/Handouts

May 3, 2019 - Organ Donation and Transplantation

Erin McGreal-Miller - Gift of Life Michigan

David Start - Ottawa/Kent County Medical Examiner's Office

Anupam Kumar - Spectrum Health Lung Transplant Program

Jill Lampen - Mercy Health Saint Mary's Kidney Transplant Center


April 5, 2019 - Opioid Epidemic Update

Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young - Kent County Sheriff's Department

Steve Alsum - Grand Rapids Red Project

Jayne Courts, M.D. - Mercy Health St Mary's/Mercy Health Physician Partners (slides not available)

Ron Scott, M.A., SPHR - Pine Rest Employee Assistance Program/Church Assistance Program


March 1, 2019 - Depression and Suicide

Evonne Edwards, Ph.D. - Pine Rest Christian Health Services

Philip Henderson, M.D. - Spectrum Health Medical Group

Kristin Mecklenburg, M.A., LLP  - Forest View Hospital

Dawn Rasmussen, L.M.S.W., CSW - Network 180


December 7, 2018 - The Cost of Prescription Drugs: The Highs and the Lows

Greg Wellman - Ferris State University - College of Pharmacy

Eric Roath - Spartan Nash

Atheer Kaddis - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan


November 2, 2018 - Update on Human Trafficking

Nikeidra Battle-DeBarge - Manasseh Program, Wedgewood Christian Services


October 5, 2018 - Water Quality and Safety

Eric Oswald  Michigan DEQ - Department of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance

Teresa Seidel - Michigan DEQ - Department of Environmental Quality

Liz Kirkwood - For Love of Water

Eric DeLong - City of Grand Rapids

Richard R. Rediske - GVSU Robert B. Annis Water Resource Institute



2017-2018 Health Forum Presentations

2016-2017 Health Forum Presentations

2015-2016 Health Forum Presentations 


Community Partners



Sponsored by: