Bellin, St. Norbert College enter partnership

09/03/2008

DE PERE — A partnership between Bellin Health and St. Norbert College will mean free Bellin Fitness Center memberships for all St. Norbert College students and a financial donation from Bellin toward the construction of the college’s outdoor athletic complex.

Under the agreement effective immediately, St. Norbert College students will receive free memberships at Bellin’s four fitness center sites, including its De Pere, west Green Bay, east Green Bay and Oconto fitness facilities. Faculty and staff at St. Norbert will receive reduced membership fees. The Green Bay-based health system also will provide strength and conditioning services to the college’s student athletes.

“This is a great opportunity for us to be a good neighbor and help St. Norbert College enhance its efforts to engage its students and faculty and staff members in healthier, active lifestyles,” said Mary Hiltunen, director, Bellin Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Services. “It’s really a unique situation when you have a health care system partnering with an institution of higher learning for the betterment of the surrounding community.”

“This is marvelous for our students, and we are most grateful to our friends at Bellin Health,” said Thomas Kunkel, president at St. Norbert College. “This is just the latest step in a growing partnership between our two institutions, and it will help St. Norbert meet longstanding goals regarding general fitness of students and our athletic program.”

A last component of the partnership includes Bellin’s support of St. Norbert’s efforts to construct a new outdoor athletic complex. Bellin will make a financial contribution toward that effort.

“It’s another area where we felt strongly that we could lend a hand,” Hiltunen said. “This is an investment in our community.”

“Like most fundraising campaigns, we generally stay a bit quiet about a new capital project until we have about half of it raised. We have a little over 20 percent right now. But this is just too good of news not to share,” said Don Maslinksi, director of athletic fund raising for St. Norbert College.

“This gift provides a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes to receive quality, year-round strength and performance enhancement training,” said Tim Bald, director of athletics and physical education at St. Norbert College. “It is equally as important to our student body in general in terms of wellness and fitness.”

The launching of this continued partnership coincides with St. Norbert College’s efforts to enhance its Health and Wellness Services unit which is committed to ensuring holistic care for its students. The agreement also comes on the heels of an academic partnership between Bellin College of Nursing and St. Norbert College formed in 2007. Under that agreement, students are enrolled at both institutions, giving them an opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Bellin College of Nursing with a St. Norbert College liberal arts foundation that includes general education and science courses, and a four-year living experience.

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Bellin Health, www.bellin.org, is an integrated health care delivery system based in Green Bay and is currently celebrating its 100th year. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, 24 Bellin Health Family Medical Center primary care physician clinics, and several retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin also operates Bellin Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization with 230 specialty physician members, the Bond Health Center, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Bellin Fitness Center with four locations, and Bellin College of Nursing. With its 2,600 employees, Bellin Health is known for its emphasis on preventive health care and is the region’s leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine. Bellin has been recognized several times as a Top 100 Hospital and by other leading quality benchmark organizations.

Founded in 1898, St. Norbert College www.snc.edu provides an education that is academically, personally and spiritually challenging. The Catholic, liberal arts institution is the only Norbertine college in the world and has a total enrollment of approximately 2,100 students with over 35 percent of its students on varsity and intramural athletic teams. In 2008, St. Norbert College won the Division III National Hockey Championship. U.S. News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Colleges,” ranks St. Norbert College among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. The college has also been named to Templeton Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges and has been named one of “The Best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review magazine.