GRAAHI / W.K. Kellogg Foundation pathway to health careers grant

Davenport University’s Vision 2020 expresses our central belief that Davenport’s graduates will “exceed employer expectation, transform communities and change lives by believing that every person can achieve his or her dream.” 

The vision also calls us to develop initiatives “to address the needs of racial and ethnic minority groups.”

Within this vision, the College of Health Professions (COHP) is well situated to meet the demands of producing a healthcare workforce across all ethnicities and cultures. In the COHP, we are working to increase the percentage of students of color. As of 2017-18, DU’s COHP students of color overall were 27% with 18% in West Michigan. 

Closely aligned with Davenport, the vision of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute (GRAAHI) is to ensure that all West Michigan residents have optimal health by benefitting from a healthcare system where race is not an impediment. 
 To collaboratively create this academic pathway, GRAAHI and W. K. Kellogg Foundation have partnered with seven academic institutions of West Michigan (Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, Ferris University, and Grand Rapids Community College) to increase the number of students of color in the health professions.

In November 2017, GRAAHI was awarded an 18-month planning grant totaling $394,745.00.
High-level goals that will guide the work are as follows:

  1. Racial Diversity in Healthcare Professions will mirror racial diversity in the community by 2040. (TRHT, Families)
  2. Establish a cadre of African American and Latinx healthcare leaders in West Michigan by 2040. (Leadership)
  3. Early exposure to advanced healthcare practice careers throughout the K-12 experience. (Children)

Once a plan is clearly delineated, GRAAHI, in conjunction with the collaborating institutions, will apply to W. K. Kellogg Foundation for an implementation grant (by April 2019).

The funding from the second round of funding will support goals to mitigate the financial challenges, and put support systems in place to overcome the barriers identified. Davenport will receive a portion of this funding.

Davenport University Representatives:

Dr. Karen Daley  Dean of the College of Health Professions

Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker Executive DIrector of Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Michele Davis Executive Director of Sponsored Programs and Grant Development

Mohamed Haji Student Representative