Spectrum Health and Grand Rapids Community College Establish Health Care Scholarship Fund

Spectrum Health Contact:
Bruce Rossman
(616) 391-3706

GRCC Contact:
Leah Nixon
(616) 234-4213

Project made possible by land purchase and creation of long-term fund in Spectrum Health Foundation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 28, 2016 – Spectrum Health and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) announce the creation of the GRCC Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship Fund to encourage and assist students interested in health sciences or health care careers.

The fund is made possible through a mutually beneficial arrangement, which includes the purchase by Spectrum Health of GRCC land and the establishment of a long-term fund that Spectrum Health will create in its foundation.

The GRCC Foundation will begin making scholarship awards from the fund in the 2017-18 academic year. The amount of each scholarship award will be based on the recipient’s financial need.

“We are pleased to partner with GRCC to create opportunities for students who may not otherwise have the financial resources to pursue a health care degree,” said Spectrum Health President and CEO Richard C. Breon. “The partnership also helps strengthen the economic health of our region and ensures we have a pipeline of health care workers.”

“One thing we know is that providing affordable educational opportunities for students is paramount to ensuring the continued growth and success of our region,” GRCC President Steven C. Ender said. “Scholarships are many times the difference between students being able to complete their academic studies, or not. We are thrilled to partner with Spectrum Health to establish this scholarship fund in support of students pursuing a career in health care so that we may continue making a positive impact on our community.”

Spectrum Health will purchase a parcel of land on Barclay Avenue near the Butterworth Hospital Emergency Department entrance. Spectrum Health has long partnered with GRCC on a number of programs designed to address the long-term need of health care professionals on the Medical Mile.

These programs include an accredited medical assistant apprenticeship, standardized community health worker training, job shadowing and internships, and Alpha Beta Omega (ΑBO), a leadership development program for GRCC students.

Spectrum Health also is committed to mentoring nursing students, and provides individual internships and clinical sites for several nursing schools including GRCC. Hundreds of nursing students complete supervised clinical practicums at Spectrum Health facilities annually.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 178 ambulatory and service sites; more than 3,400 physicians and advanced practice providers, including about 1,400 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan with about 727,500 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 24,500 employees. The organization provided $283 million in community benefit during its 2015 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—by Truven Health Analytics™ for 2016. This is the fifth time the organization has received this recognition.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.