GRAND RAPIDS – Through a $493,690 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, teams of Grand Valley State University faculty members and students will provide onsite care to older adults and senior citizens who are income-eligible or disabled.

With oversight by Della Hughes Carter, assistant professor of nursing, onsite primary care will be provided to older adults who are served through Grand Rapids Housing Commission and the Dwelling Place. Hughes Carter will serve as the grant’s primary investigator.

The project will begin in January at two locations: Reflections, a senior housing community managed by Dwelling Place in southeast Grand Rapids that maintains 60 units; and Mount Mercy Apartments, a 180-unit building on Grand Rapids’ northwest side managed by the GRHC.

The GVSU Family Health Center, a nurse-managed center operated by the Kirkhof College of Nursing, will be the collaborating partner and deploy primary care teams.

Cynthia McCurren, dean of KCON, said interdisciplinary teams that include nursing students will provide care to patients with a focus on improving mental, physical and functional health, which will help decrease emergency room and hospital visits, delay nursing home placements and support aging in place.

“We are very fortunate to be given this opportunity to help the community, as well as provide high-impact clinical experiences for our students,” McCurren said.

Hughes Carter said teams of faculty and students from nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, clinical dietetics and social work will collaborate in the evaluation, treatment and monitoring of participants. Anticipated outcomes, she said, include decreased number of falls, improved medication tracking, and reduced financial costs.

Kari Sederburg, senior program officer for the Health Fund, said the grant was among $14 million in awards to Michigan organizations through two programs: Healthy Aging, and Special Projects & Emerging Ideas.

“Michigan’s population is aging, and as a state we must adapt to support older adults and those who care for them,” Sederburg said.

This gift is a part of GVSU’s Laker Effect campaign, which is transforming the lives of students and enhancing the West Michigan community.

Learn more about the campaign at