Published on March 22, 2019

Grezlak Home Housing Medical Students

Photo of Ed Grezlak standing in front of the home on White Street.

Ed Grezlak standing in front of the home on White Street.

In October 2018, Ed Grezlak donated his home on White Street to MidMichigan Health Foundation. A philanthropist determined to assist with the disciplines of health and education, Grezlak wanted to provide the Medical Center with a space to house students and medical residents receiving training and working in Alpena. Not only providing a space for students to reside but also a means to highlight the wonderful Alpena community were goals of Mr. Grezlak’s gift. Already, the home is being utilized for its intended purpose.

Built on the former site of Alpena High School and Thunder Bay Junior High School, the home is large enough to accommodate at least eight individuals comfortably and has the potential to hold many more. In addition to five private bedrooms and seven baths, the home has an expansive kitchen, basement and apartment-style space above the garage. This also allows plenty of room for staggering students and residents on rotations as well as both private and group study. The home is within walking distance to downtown amenities and the harbor and is less than two miles away from the Medical Center.

Students come to Alpena through the Medical Center’s partnership with the Rural Community Health Program at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and the Clinical Community Clerkships of Central Michigan University. Roughly ten to twelve students cycle through various rotations annually. What makes the program so exciting for Alpena is that future health care providers get first-hand experiences with the community both in and out of the Medical Center.

Dr. Richard Bates, regional vice president of medical affairs, MidMichigan Health, is certainly pleased to have this house available to medical students. “The gift, first of all signifies the shared priority of health and education to both MidMichigan Health and Mr. Grezlak,” said Bates. “Secondly, it provides tangible evidence to health care students and current staff members that Alpena provides not only an optimal training environment but a welcoming and friendly community in which to practice medicine.”

Rotations in different modalities are an important segment of students’ medical education. Often, year four rotations help students narrow down the specialty that they might be interested in focusing on for residency. The ability to offer rotations at MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena provides a vital role in the medical education of a student interested in rural medicine along with the opportunity to begin recruiting these same students back to northeastern Michigan to practice and live post residency.

Currently, three medical students are spending off hours at the Grezlak home. The available space provides a great service by eliminating the problems associated with securing living arrangements in a new community and long commutes, allowing them to focus on their work and studies.

Ann Diamond, development director, MidMichigan Health Foundation, feels that this opportunity will enhance the student’s experience greatly. “The intent of Mr. Grezlak has already been realized as we have students living at 114 E. White Street. They study and do rotations to the ultimate end of taking care of people. This is a legacy gift that is an amazing tool for an enhanced learning environment,” said Diamond.

Mr. Grezlak couldn’t be more proud and pleased that the house is being utilized. “I am very happy to know that students are living in the house and it’s providing a comfortable place for them to live and work.” said Grezlak.