GVSU to host forum on supply, demand of health care jobs

GVL / Emily Frye 
GVSU Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences on Thursday September 14, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye GVSU Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences on Thursday September 14, 2017.

Celia Harmelink

Grand Valley State University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Health is hosting “The Health Care Talent Pipeline,” a panel discussion on the supply and demand of jobs in the health care industry and how higher education institutes can meet the needs of employers and employees in the field. 

This event, which is part of the Health Forum of West Michigan series, is free and open to the public and is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Students are encouraged to attend, as well as community members, faculty and staff.

Through this series, an event takes place during the academic year on the first Friday of every month. This discussion will be held Friday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Loosemore Auditorium of the Richard M. DeVos Center. There will also be a light breakfast served at 7:30 a.m. before the presentations begin.

The panelists include Norman Beauchamp, dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Laurie Chelsey, provost of Grand Rapids Community College; Pamela Ries, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Spectrum Health; Wanda Stokes, director of the Talent Investment Agency for the state of Michigan; and Maria Cimitile, GVSU provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs.

Cimitile said she will be speaking about GVSU’s health program and how the university meets the needs of the workforce in our community. 

“Our downtown campus is right on the Medical Mile, and so all of those hospitals and health organizations are our partners, and there are many jobs available for students,” she said. “Everything from data analysis and data programming from our computer information systems areas to all of our health profession fields like nursing, physician’s assistants, physical therapists, billing and coding experts, all of those things.”

Jean Nagelkerk, GVSU’s vice provost for health and moderator for this event, agreed that there is a large demand for jobs in the health care industry right now.

“There are many job opportunities for health professionals, and the trend is projected to continue,” she said via email. “Job growth in health care is attributed to many factors, including new treatment options; advanced technology; virtual health care; chronic illnesses; and a trend toward health promotion, disease prevention and healthy lifestyles.” 

Nagelkerk said the panel will discuss the current and future labor markets in the health care industry, as well as offer insight on programs these health-related organizations can provide.

“The audience will also hear an employer’s perspective on the challenges and demands they face in recruiting high-quality health care professionals to ensure adequate staffing for quality patient care,” she said. “Academic leaders will share information on health and health-related programs that their organizations offer to ensure that our health care systems have the workforce they need to provide exceptional care to our communities.”

Cimitile said she is looking forward to this event and the discussion it will open up. 

“It should be a very well-attended event, and I’m looking forward to highlighting the role that Grand Valley plays in our community,” she said.

The partners for this event include GVSU’s Office of the Vice Provost for Health; MSU’s College of Human Medicine; the Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center; and the Michigan Center for Clinical Systems Improvement. 

For more information or to register for the event, visit www.gvsu.edu/gvnow/article-index.htm?articleId=D8D30D5C-9F69-703E-6D0DDC66FDD70D31.