Last Chance Mile
The Reinvention of an American Community
by Rod Kackley
Like many other cities in the United States, Grand Rapids, Michigan has struggled with redeveloping its economic identity after the devastation of the Great Recession of 2008. Last Chance Mile: The Reinvention of an American Community demonstrates how Grand Rapids has been redefined as a hub for the greatest scientific minds in the world by developing what has come to be called the “Medical Mile.”
The Medical Mile is a cluster of prosperity that is anchored by a world-renowned research institute, a major healthcare organization, a Big Ten medical school, an allied health professions program at a nearby university, and an entrepreneurial incubator where new medical device and life sciences businesses are being born. None of this existed until a $1 billion donation from Jay Van Andel changed not only the way the world views Grand Rapids, but how the community views itself.
It has been a long journey of self-discovery for Grand Rapids that could serve as inspiration for other American communities.
- Abbott Press, July 2012
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