News Briefs 8/10/20


Courtesy / Meghan Landgren

Olivia Fellows, News Editor

Smart brick inventor wins GV Innovator Award

On July 30, Pete Hoffswell, who works at the Holland Board of Public Works, won the second annual Lakeshore Innovator of the Year Award, presented by Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub.

His winning invention, a low-cost wireless plastic brick temperature sensor, can be built into the sidewalk snowmelt system which feeds back to the Board of Public Works to help plant managers optimize the cost of operating the snowmelt system without having to send employees out into the field.

Hoffswell was inspired to create the temperature-sensing brick after speaking with employees about how to improve their system, and thought a sensor would be useful when he learned only visual reports were used.

“The innovation here is a small step,” Hoffswell said. “What is this thing? It’s a thermometer. But it’s the application, the idea that takes you to the next step that is innovation. Even little ideas can make a big difference. I think this makes a difference to our community, and that’s a really exciting thing.”


GV Master of Health Administration program earns national accreditation

Grand Valley State University’s Master of Health Administration program, offered through the College of Community and Public Service, has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

Programs with CAHME accreditation take part in a quality improvement process with participation from leading academics and practitioners.

Nicolette Keller, who earned an MHA from GVSU in April and works as a revenue cycle analyst in capacity management for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, said that the program helps to find new opportunities in the healthcare system and improve patient care.

“It’s a brand-new department and it is our goal to increase patient access on a provider or resource schedule,” Keller said. “Sometimes, a patient may need to wait two months to get a new patient appointment, so we try to work with providers and offices to find creative ways to increase their patient access.”

Over 200 health care professionals have MHA degrees from GVSU, and about 70 students will be pursuing their MHA degree this fall. MHA classes at GVSU are offered in hybrid format, mixing online and in-person instruction.


Pulse survey shows student, staff confidence in university COVID-19 response

The most recent Pulse survey results revealed that most respondents are confident in Grand Valley State University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly half (48%) of faculty and staff responded to the July 6 pulse survey, while 36% of incoming and returning students responded to the mid-July survey.

Among staff and faculty, 53% of respondents agree or strongly agree GVSU has a clear plan of action regarding health-informed policies and protocols for on-campus environments, and 76% of respondents agree their unit head or supervisor keeps them informed about decisions.

With student responses, 56% of respondents said they feel very comfortable or comfortable with returning to campus in the fall, and 69% of respondents said they want to take a hybrid combination of in-person and online classes, 21% want all in-person classes.