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!

2018-2019 Health Forum Schedule

We're pleased to present our listing of Health Forum topics for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Last year we welcomed over 1100 health care practitioners, health care and business administrators, educators, students, and community members to our presentations. Many of our guests have become regulars each month!  Our topics covered a broad range of issues and interests and our panelists offered diverse perspectives on the given topic. 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.


Opioid Epidemic - Update



Friday, April 5, 2019

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

7:30 a.m. Light Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Presentations
9:30 a.m. Event concludes



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


Steve Alsum
Executive Director
Grand Rapids Red Project

Jayne E. Courts, M.D.
Executive Medical Director
Department of Internal Medicine
Department of Geriatric Medicine
Mercy Health Saint Mary's/Mercy Health Physician Partners

Sherriff Michelle LaJoye-Young
Kent County Sherriff's Department

Ron Scott, M.A. SPHR
Consultant, EAP Services
Employee Assistance Program/Church Assistance Program
Pine Rest Christian Health Services



M. Lisa Pagnucco Pharm.D.
Associate Professor
Physician Assistant Studies
Grand Valley State University






Organ Donations and Transplantations


Friday, May 3, 2019

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

7:30 a.m. Light Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Presentations
9:30 a.m. Event concludes



Katie Branch, M.S.N.
Director of Simulation
Grand Valley State University


Dorrie Dils, M.H.A., B.S.N
Chief Executive Officer
Gift of Life Michigan

Michael Hofmann, M.D.
Mercy Health Kidney Transplant Center

Anupam Kumar, M.D.
Lung Transplant Physician
Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program
Spectrum Health

David Start, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner, Ottawa County
Deputy Medical Examiner, Kent County



Abbey Sladick, M.S. Comm
Vice President of Communications
Mel Trotter Ministries

All Health Forum events are free and open to the public. Participants should use the GVSU Seward parking ramp/lot accessible from either Lake Michigan Drive/Pearl Street or from Fulton Street.

Campus Map

Questions may be directed to

Past Events - PowerPoint Presentations/Handouts

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


May 4, 2018 - Transitions - Palliative Care in the Life Cycle

Carol Robinson DNP, MS, BSN, RN, CHPN

Linsey Gleason, J.D.

John Hamersma, MD, FAAHP

John Mulder, MD (No PPT used)


April 6, 2018 - The State of Mental Health

Mark Eastburg, PhD, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health

Scott Gilman, MSA, CBHE, Network 180

David Blair, MD,  Mercy Health Physician Partners


February 1, 2018 - The Opioid Epidemic - Update

Kim Gaedecke - LARA - State of Michigan

Talal Khan, MD - Pine Rest Christian Health Services

Cara Poland, MD - Spectrum Health

David Rahinsky - City of Grand Rapids Police



December 1, 2018 - One Health

Mary Grace Stobierski, DVM - State of Michigan

Shannon Briggs, PhD - State of Michigan

Mike VanderKlok DVM - State of Michigan

Andrew Jameson, MD - Spectrum Health


November 3, 2017 - Human Genetics

Janice Bach - State of Michigan

Megan Bowman - Van Andel Research Institute

Caleb Bupp - Spectrum Health


October 6, 2017 - Health Care Talent Pipeline

Wanda Stokes - Michigan Talent Investment Agency

Pamela Ries - Spectrum Health (PPT not available)

Laurie Chesley - Grand Rapids Community College

Norman Beauchamp - Michigan State University

Maria Cimitile - Grand Valley State University


May 5, 2017 - Human Trafficking

Sarah Moultrie - DeVos Children's Hospital

Leslie King - Sacred Beginnings



April 7, 2017 - Social Determinants of Health

Susan Moran - Population Health Administration - Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services

Felicia Clay - Grand Rapids Housing Commission

Matt Ostapowicz - Grand Rapids Police Department

Lauran Hardin - Mercy Health Saint Mary's; National Center for Complex Health & Social Needs



March 3, 2017 - Understanding the Zika Virus

Juliet Bedford - Anthrologica

Mike Kaufman - Michigan State University, Department of Entomology

Andrew Jameson, PhD - Mercy Health Saint Mary's


December 2, 2016 - The State of Opioid Abuse in West Michigan

Tom Burns - Drug Enforcement Administration

Mark Hall - Kent County Health Department

Michelle Young - Kent County Sheriff's Office

Steve Alsum - Grand Rapids Red Project


November 11, 2016 - Municipal Infrastructure and Health

Keith Creah - Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources

Eric R. DeLong - City of Grand Rapids


October 7, 2016 - Virtual Health & Emerging Technologies


Tim Pletcher - Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services

Doug Dietzman - Great Lakes Health Connect

Joseph Brennan - MedNow

Ken Johnson - Emergency Care Specialist on behalf of Answer Health Care On Demand

(Unable to post Prezi presentation.  See organization website for information:


May 6, 2016 - The Integration of Mental/Behavioral Health and Physical medicine

Lynda Zeller, MPA, - Michigan Department of Health - (Handout)

Stan Stek, JD - Kent County Commissioner

Chris Shea, MUP - Cherry Health Services


April 1, 2016 - Medical/Behavioral Integration Promises, Results, Challenges

Phil Baty, MD and Gary Buchanich, RN - Mercy Health Physician Partners

Kiran Taylor, MD - Spectrum Health Medical Group

John Fox, MD, MHA - Priority Health


March 4, 2016 - The Evolution of Healthcare

Patrick O'Hare

Elizabeth Murphy

Jeffrey Postlewaite


February 5, 2016 - Population Health

Jim Green - Lacks Enterprises

Adam London - Kent County Health Department

Lacks Enterprises Wellness Guide

Community Partners



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Page last modified March 15, 2019