GVSU’s annual DeVos Medical Colloquy to focus on healthcare access

Courtesy / EckhoffDeVries.com

Courtesy / EckhoffDeVries.com

Rachel Matuszewski

Grand Valley State University’s annual DeVos Medical Colloquy will speak about health care access on Monday, Sept. 17 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Eberhard Center located on the GVSU downtown campus. 

The Colloquy began in March 2005, when the DeVos’ created a forum where medical and ethical significance could be discussed with a speaker and the addition of the public. 

“The DeVos Medical Ethics Planning Committee identifies relevant ethical issues in health care and selects our topics based on in-depth review of existing literature and professional recommendations.” said Vice Provost for Health Dr. Jean Nagelkerk. “Once a topic is selected, the committee identifies and invites top experts in the country to speak on the topic.” 

This year, Larry S. Temkin and Thomas R. Reid will be speaking on “The Ethics of Access to Health Care”, chosen by the DeVos Medical Ethics Planning Committee. Reid is an author, lecturer and journalist for the Washington Post. His writing’s theme has covered health care systems in the United States and abroad. Temkin, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, will discuss his opinions on quality of healthcare.

“Access to health care is important to each of us, as we will all need healthcare at some point in our lives.” Nagelkerk said. “The committee is interested in hearing the speakers’ perspectives on health care access, cost and quality.”

Nursing, medical and health professional students are encouraged to attend and learn about the ethical implications of access to health care. The event is open to the public and additional audience will also consist of health care administrators, professionals, community members and university faculty and staff.   

“The DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy brings national experts to our community to discuss and grapple with challenging ethical issues that healthcare workers may face in providing care to their patients.” Nagelkerk said. “We look forward to hearing the unique perspectives from our experts on the ethics of access to health care.  We also look forward to the audience interaction and rich discussion on this important topic during the question and answer session with our speakers.”

Students who attend can expect to learn about access to health care, the potential ethical implications they may face and the implications for individuals they provide care for in their future careers. It’s important for students looking into a career in the medical field to understand these ethical issues before stepping into their first job. 

Nagelkerk says students will have an opportunity to meet with speakers before the event for a brief preview of the presentations with a question and answer session. The student meet-and-greet will be from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in room 201 at the GVSU Eberhard Center. 

“Our speakers are engaging and knowledgeable about the topic area. They look forward to meeting with students during the meet-and greet-taking place prior to the Colloquy.” Nagelkerk said.