Med School Is Journal's Newsmaker

January 16, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Business Journal bestowed its 2006 Newsmaker of the Year Award on the Michigan State University West Michigan Medical School during a Jan. 16 luncheon meeting of the Grand Rapids Economic Club in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

The Journal's annual award recognizes people and projects based on economic impact for West Michigan.

The medical school topped the list; nine other finalists included The Kalamazoo Promise, new manufacturing initiatives, expansion of the Van Andel Institute, growth in the furniture industry, plans for a downtown JW Marriott Hotel, emergence of the information technology sector, the cost of health care, Delphi Corp.'s bankruptcy filing, and the importance of the sustainable business movement in West Michigan.

"Each of these is worthy of being a newsmaker of the year," said Business Journal Editor Carole Valade.

Accepting the award were David Porteous, chair of Michigan State's board of trustees, Marsha Rappley, acting dean of MSU's med school, and Steve Heacock, chief administrative officer of the Van Andel Institute.

"I simply can't accept this without the other stakeholders being up here," Porteous said, referring to the group that has spent countless hours making a match between MSU and West Michigan.

The development team included Grand Action Committee, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, The Right Place Inc., Saint Mary's Health Care, Spectrum Health and the Van Andel Institute.

Valade pointed out that while the med school development team is referred to as "stakeholders," there may be a better moniker for the group.

"Around here we call them partners," she said, adding that the collaborative effort to bring the facility to West Michigan influenced the Journal's decision-making process.

"This med school will have an impact on West Michigan for years and years," Valade said. She stressed that the "intellectual capital" the school attracts will be just as important as its economic impact on the region.

Porteous lauded the cooperation among everyone involved and said MSU is looking forward to a mutually beneficial program.

"This is a great day for all of the stakeholders and all of the people who have worked so hard on this," he said when accepting a commemorative framed front page of the Business Journal.

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