Skip to content

GR Stories - Public Health History in Grand Rapids

wed29mar6:00 pmGR Stories - Public Health History in Grand Rapids

Event Details

GR Stories – Public Health History in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) will host another installment of GR Stories as part of the Museum’s ongoing community-based programming. GR Stories – Public Health History in Grand Rapids will take place at the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Overlook room on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The program is free to attend and open to the public and guests should register at

This program will feature presentations by Grand Valley State University students Hannah Krebs, Callie Dzurisin, and Coltrane Bodbyl-Mast based on their research using the GRPM Collections and other local archives. The panel will be moderated by Grand Valley State University History Department Faculty Advisors Dr. Carolyn Shapiro-Shapin, Dr. Abigail Gautreau, and Dr. Matthew Daley and is intended to spark meaningful discussion about public health history. This program is being offered through a partnership with Grand Valley State University and with grant support from Michigan Humanities.

Grand Rapids has been conducting groundbreaking medical research and implementing transformative health policies since the early 20th century. Dr. Pearl Kendrick, Grace Eldering, and Loney Gordon developed an effective whooping cough vaccine in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1945, Grand Rapids became the first US city to fluoridate its public water system, resulting in fewer cavities, especially in children. Today, Grand Rapids continues to lead in medical research, health care, and public health, with institutions like the Corewell Health Medical Center, Grand Rapids Community College, and the Van Andel Institute located on its Medical Mile.

About GR Stories

Created to dive deeper into the local community, GR Stories takes us throughout Greater Grand Rapids to hear from the people themselves, sharing their rich history and contributions to the area. With in-person and virtual options, these programs are bridges being built to better understand one another. As part of these programs, the Museum is actively collecting the stories and artifacts of our diverse community in the Collections. Programs in 2021 included: The History of Grand Rapids in Black and Brown: A Conversation, Polish Halls, and The 49507 Project.

Learn more about the GR Stories series at


Late Opening Notice.

On Saturday, May 11, the Museum will open at 12 p.m. due to road closures for the Amway River Bank Run.

Early Closure Notice.

The Museum will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 for Museum Adventure After Dark. Tickets are still available!