Early Detection


    How long has Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine had its eye on Grand Rapids?

    Longer than one might think.

    It’s been about a decade since PeterMcPherson was named president of the Green and White, and more than halfway through that tenure he had to find a dean for the med school.

    Enter GlennDavis, who said all the right things during a presentation at the Alliance for Health’s annual meeting in Grandville last week about money and partnerships.

    But word has it that Davis was brought on board in 1991 with an eye toward moving the med school to Grand Rapids. And the first, and at that time only, collaborative target was Spectrum Health, the region’s largest health care provider.

    Now that Spectrum’s engaged in earnest discussions, Saint Mary’s Mercy Medical Center and, to a lesser extent, Grand Valley State University are getting their day in the sun.

    DaveBaumgartner, Saint’s vice president of medical affairs and director of medical education, is questioning the whole med school process, and rightfully so, but it looks more and more like Spectrum was the best marriage partner all along and the rest are bridesmaids.

    That’s too bad, because Grand Rapids has a lot of resources to offer in the form of med-related education and there is plenty of intellectual prowess that could be put to the task.

    • Talk about a strong finish. This one goes birdie-birdie-birdie.

    Next week’s Farmers Charity Classic is closing strong with the addition of GilMorgan to what organizers are calling “one of the best fields ever.”

    Morgan, who won the event in 1997, is the leading money winner on the Champions Tour this year and brings to 27 the number of top 30 money winners committed to play at Egypt Valley. And that includes nine of the year’s top 10.

    That should be good fuel for Executive Director BrianKemp and the gang who are working hard to secure a title sponsor for next year.

    • Speaking of charity events, another one is giving a boost to Habitat for Humanity today.

    At 10:30 this morning, members of the Design Home team and presenting sponsor Bank One will present a $6,000 check to Habitat. The presentation will be held at the Design Home in the Blackberry at Shear’s Crossing development. The Design Home is a project of sister publication Grand Rapids Magazine and its various sponsors.

    This check, coupled with earlier commitments, brings total charitable revenues raised thus far for Habitat for Humanity to $7,800.

    “This amount is sure to grow as 100 percent of proceeds generated from the sale of Design Home tour tickets will go to Habitat for Humanity,” said RandyPrichard, general sales manager for Gemini Publications. “Design Home 2004 will open to the public Friday, Sept. 10, with tours scheduled through Sunday, Sept. 19.”

    • **Not all charitable contributions come in the form of money, however.

    Take, for example, a 10-year tradition at Calvin College.

    Students left campus for the summer last week, but on their way out they donated clothes, furniture and other items they didn’t want to lug home.

    And for the 10th straight year those donations will benefit local children through the work of a local church, Oakdale Park Christian Reformed Church.

    Calvin students are told at the end of the semester that anything they can’t or don’t want to take home can be donated to the church. There are drop boxes for the students and everything is collected and left in the lobby of each residence hall.

    After students have all moved out, Oakdale Park volunteers collect the goods in preparation for the church’s annual yard sale. The sale will be held June 23-25 this year.

    Last year the church raised $4,000, according to LynVandenBosch, who helps run the sale and is the wife of the church’s pastor. The money supports the church’s neighborhood outreach to local children. JohnWitte, dean of residence life at Calvin, said it’s a good situation for all the parties involved.

    “We’re doing it so we have an outlet for all this stuff,” he said. “And they (the church) fill a need in their community by having this large yard sale.”

    And Calvin’s entire residence hall community (including students living in the college’s apartments) furnishes everything from couches to hair dryers for the sale. The Oakdale Park congregation also contributes. Most of the student donations are clothing items, and VandenBosch confesses that college kids make interesting contributions.

    “The weirdest thing we got from Calvin,” she says, laughing, “was a whole bag of unmatched socks.”

    The bulk of the clothing is very welcome, she quickly added.

    “I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say we sell a thousand pairs of jeans,” she said.

    • Sometimes, charity work and money go hand in hand.

    TomFehsenfeld, president of Crystal Flash, recognizes that volunteers who drive as part of their charity work are feeling the pinch at the pumps. In response, the Cyrstal Flash station on Alpine Avenue NW is giving Senior Meals on Wheels volunteers $5 off on the price of a fill-up.

    “Some of our volunteer meal delivery drivers are logging up to 600 miles per week on their vehicles, and the huge increases we are seeing at the gas pump are negatively impacting their ability to continue volunteering,” said LindaQuist, of the meals program, who added that every little bit helps for a program that supplies hundreds of meals to seniors.    

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