In 2013, Bronson Healthcare announced a partnership with Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS) to remediate a blighted, former superfund site and create a 14-acre campus. Completed in 2016, the Bronson Healthy Living Campus is a catalyst for urban revitalization, community health, and workforce development through sustainable food education, training, production, distribution and preparation.
The synergies developed between the project organizers, the new Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, the City of Kalamazoo, and others will meet increasing consumer demand for holistic approaches to food education and health by preparing the next generation of professionals for existing and emerging careers. The campus includes the KVCC Culinary/Allied Health Building, the KVCC Food Innovation Center, and a building that houses KCMHSAS’s integrated health services and pharmacy.
The campus opened in 2016, so impacts are difficult to assess. The Food Innovation Center has already emerged as a crucial food hub for the entire southwest Michigan region, helping Bronson locally source 40 percent of its food—on track for meeting our 60 percent goal by 2020.
The KCMHSAS building’s close proximity to Bronson Methodist Hospital will likely prevent avoidable emergency department visits and ease follow-up appointments for patients. KVCC’s nursing, EMT, and respiratory care students can train in the new building’s state-of-the-art simulation environments and more easily have enhanced clinical experiences at Bronson.
Demand for locally grown food is greater than expected. The food hub is exploring expanding its service to other local, institutional buyers.
The Food Innovation Center is crucial to helping Bronson meet its goal by 2020 of 60 percent locally sourced food. KVCC continues working with the City, Kalamazoo County, and the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail (KRVT) on a trail connecting north and south campus and helping connect the KRVT with an extensive trail system in the city of Portage, south of Kalamazoo.
Contact: Terry Morrow
Vice President, Development & Community Health