Today Michigan Governor, Rick Sy
dner, and Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, toured Grand Rapids Community College’s HealthCare programs.
GRCC was one of the few other places on Snyder’s tour of institutions to take a look at both the manufacturing and medical apprenticeships and programs that are offered to students.
“We are very honored to have Governor Synder to be here,” said GRCC president, Bill Pink. “he is a good friend to the school and I was excited to show him the great apprenticeships and programs that we have at GRCC to prepare students when they enter the workforce.”
The embargoed tour began after an on-campus luncheon with Pink at The Heritage, the college’s public fine dining restaurant staffed by culinary students.
The governor first went to Cook Hall in the main building to view the various simulation labs that are integrated into classes taken by medical students.
The governor visited simulation for nursing students first. The lab is setup like a real hospital room with a breathing, blinking mannequin in a hospital bed. The mannequin is hooked up to many different machines to make the simulation as realistic as possible.
“There are about 350 students in the nursing program,” said the director of nursing programs, Michelle Richter. “We offer simulations in cardiac, geriatrics, death and dying and many others.”
The nursing program at GRCC partners with local hospitals including Spectrum Health, Saint Mary’s and other schools.
The next stop on the tour was to the third floor to view the dentistry simulation lab.
Eve Sydney, director of the dental programs, lead Snyder and Acosta around the two dentistry labs.
The labs feature stations with realistic dentistry equipment and technology. The second lab that was visited on the tour had stations where students could practice performing dental molds and applying braces.
The dental program also offers a dental clinic that is open to the community. This allows the students to get more hands-on experience in a supervised learning environment.
The last program that was visited was the Radial Technology program with the program director, Lisa Lakescheide, leading. The lab houses multiple full-size x-ray machines.
“What is so amazing about this program is that it really updates the businesses around West Michigan’s need for workers in this field,” Pink said. “They do a good job of teaching the right amount of students so they can graduate and be confident that they’ll get a job.”
With the tour coming to an end, Synder praised the faculty and Pink once again:
“I think there are great programs here,” Snyder said. “First-grade equipment, great instructors, so it’s wonderful to see students coming through and having great career opportunities in the medical field, and I know that there are many other opportunities in manufacturing and culinary.”