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 Health Forum engages health care practitioners, health care and business administrators, educators, students, and community members in critical health-related conversations that are pertinent to our communities. 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.

All Health Forum of West Michigan events are free and open to the public. Our topics are subject to change so please check our website for most current information!

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

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Health Forum of West Michigan 2020-21

We are excited to be ramping up for our 2020/2021 Health Forum presentations!  We want to move forward safely in view of the current pandemic so will be offering virtual presentations only through at least the end of 2020. We intend to bring you the same in-depth panel discussions on health-related topics.  This year we felt it very important to explore how the pandemic is impacting the various aspects of our well being and so we have shaped this year's presentations as a COVID-19 Series.

Delivery of Health Care During a Pandemic


November 6, 2020

8 am - 9:30 am

(Registration deadline November 4, 2020)




Jean Nagelkerk, PhD, FNP
Vice Provost for Health
Grand Valley State University



Dr. William Fales, MD
State Medical Director
Division of EMS and Trauma
Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness

Matthew Biersack, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Mercy Health Saint Mary's

Joshua Kooistra, DO
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer of
Spectrum Health West Michigan

Ronald Grifka, MD
Chief Medical Officer,
Metro Health/University of Michigan Health


Additional speaker information will be updated as it becomes available!



Health Disparities and COVID-19
December 4, 2020

Vulnerable Populations During a Pandemic
February 5, 2021

Mental Health and COVID-19
March 5, 2021





NOTE: Our Annual Health Care Economic Forecast is traditionally held in place of our January Health Forum event.

West Michigan Health Care Economic Forecast
January 8, 2021


Past Events - PowerPoint Presentations/Handouts


COVID-19 Series - The Disease, Treatments, and Outlook

Sara Lyon-Callo PhD - State of Michigan, Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health

Brian Hartl MPH- Kent County Health Department, Department of Epidemiology

Andrew Jameson MD - Mercy Health Saint Mary's, Department of Infectious Diseases

Ralph Wang MD - Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital




February 7, 2020 - Understanding the Risks of Vaping

Brian Hartl - Kent County Health Department

Vita McCabe, MD - St. Joseph Health System

Michael Ostrander - Belding High School

Cheryl Phillips - Exploration Station, St. Joseph Health System


December 6, 2019 - New Discoveries in Genetics

Patricia McKane - Lifecourse Epidemiology and Genomics Division

Caleb Bupp - Spectrum Health | Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

Jeremy Prokop - Michigan State University, Department of Pediatrics and Human development

Anna Moore - Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine (not available)



November 1, 2019 - Legalized Marijuana - Implications in Health Care

Andrew Brisbo - Marijuana Regulatory Agency State of Michigan

Mandeep Bath, M.D. - Pine Rest Mental Health

Scott Rifenberg - Grand Rapids Police Department

John Titley, Varnum Law, LLP (pending permission)


October 4, 2019 - Consumer Driven Technology

Brent Nowak - Applied Medical Device Institute - Grand Valley State University

Bimal Shah - Livongo

Ted Spooner - Zimmer Biomet

Jessie Riley - Holland Home



2018-2019 Health Forum Presentations

2017-2018 Health Forum Presentations

2016-2017 Health Forum Presentations

2015-2016 Health Forum Presentations 


Community Partners



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