GVSU to host interprofessional health expo

GVL / Archive - GVSU scrubs are pictured on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.


GVL / Archive – GVSU scrubs are pictured on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.

Drew Schertzer

The Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research Center (MIPERC) is holding a health expo at Grand Valley State University. The expo will take place Tuesday, March 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room.

For the fourth year in a row, groups of students have met up and begun research, and this year, 41 different teams of students are preparing to showcase projects pertaining to wellness they’ve been working on.

“Students are exposed to disciplines they don’t usually work with,” said Tracy Cooper, health compliance specialist in the office of the Vice Provost for Health. “The goal is to simulate what goes on in the workplace.”

In a workplace, a nurse doesn’t just work with other nurses. They have to work with social workers and people from other occupations, Cooper said, and this is more realistic with what students will see when they graduate.

Cooper said three to four undergraduate, graduate and professional-level students from different health occupations form the 41 teams. The students are from GVSU, Ferris State University and the Kent ISD early college program. They will present their findings on posters they will have made, and attendees will be able to view the 41 different posters on display. The students are also given a table at the expo and will be around it to answer questions participants might have.

“As someone who’s considering a health-related background, the expo is great,” said Jamie Lukasik, a GVSU student who attended last year’s expo. “It’s always fabulous to find out how to live a healthier life.”

Last year, around 300 people attended the event. This year, Cooper expects roughly the same number of people or more. Currently, 200 students have signed up, and 28 faculty advisers will be present as well.

Local health organizations will also be making appearances at the expo. Their work will be connecting the topics from the presentations to their organizations in different communities. Cooper said as of right now, 14 health vendors will be present. 

Cooper said the goal of the expo is to expand health knowledge, and she expressed how essential it is to know about ways to be healthier.

“I believe it is a right to be healthy,” Cooper said. “If you’re eating badly, your brain won’t function correctly, similar to putting bad fuel in a car.”

Cooper said it is pretty fundamental to have good health and to learn how to take care of oneself. Lukasik shared a similar belief, saying that feeling healthy boosts productivity, gives you more energy and can improve your life overall.

The interactive expo will conclude with a prize raffle from community donations. There will be surveys that will be given out to willing attendees after they have met and talked with the different members of the groups. Cooper said this would allow the expo organizers to see if they have truly met their goal of expanding the health knowledge of those in attendance.

For more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/miperc/miperc-health-expo-29.htm