Leaders from GVSU, Corewell Health celebrate inaugural cohort of scholars

One year ago, both institutions created unique program to combat nursing shortage

**Sharing on behalf of Grand Valley State University**

Media Note: several photos from the April 10 event are available to download:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Leaders from Grand Valley State University and Corewell Health celebrated the inaugural cohort of students who received scholarships from a program meant to address the nursing shortage.

Nearly 30 students were recognized as the first Corewell Health Nurse Scholars during a reception April 10 at the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health on GVSU’s Health Campus.

One year ago, the two institutions announced a unique partnership to address the nursing shortage. Corewell Health pledged to invest more than $19 million over six years into the program that will create opportunities for 500 students to pursue a nursing degree at GVSU. Grand Valley agreed to increase its infrastructure support for students.

Students like Gabriel Martinez, who at 29 has had a diverse career that includes being a high school wrestling coach and a nurse technician.

It was his role as a coach that pushed him to finish his degree. “I wanted to walk the talk I was telling our students about going to college and getting a degree,” Martinez said.

GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella congratulated the scholars who are nearing the end of their first semester. She also advised the students they bear some responsibility for the program’s success.

“I want you to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for what you have done so far, but also a sense of responsibility,” Mantella said. “This program is innovative and serves as a model for others around the country. Your success will help place more nurses in health care.”

Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Corewell Health, welcomed students to the organization and reiterated the support available to them throughout their journey.

“You have nurse coaches teaching and mentoring you along the way and we have a nurse residency program to help with the transition to practicing health care,” Freese Decker said. “You are part of our family now, and we are here to support you and help you grow in this role.”

Martinez said the scholarship money made it possible for him to finish a degree. “Everything aligned — the scholarship and the fact that I will have a job at Corewell Health when I’m done,” he said.



Contact: Michele Coffill, GVSU University Communications
(616) 331-2221