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November 11, 1999


LA CROSSE, Wis.—Viterbo College was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Humana Foundation for its expertise in addressing wellness issues on campus.

The Viterbo College Wellness Center was begun in 1995 to enhance the education of students, faculty and staff by promoting the optimal health of the campus and surrounding community.

"The goal of the program is to encourage healthy lifestyles that integrate emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social well-being," says Rose Kreutz, the Wellness Center Coordinator. "And as our students and staff learn about better health, they’re also reaching out beyond the Viterbo community to promote that same lifestyle within the La Crosse community."

Kreutz, who works on Wellness Center initiatives with an advisory committee comprised of three students and 11 faculty and staff members, says, "The Humana Foundation was impressed with our goals to promote wellness on campus." Creative ways in which the committee found to address wellness issues within the campus and the community at large include:

Distribution of wellness materials on campus through reproducible materials, displays in high-traffic areas, etc.

  •  "Adult Health and Development Program," a free intergenerational wellness program to help older adults engage in activities which will positively affect their health and well being. The program will be held in two sessions early next year and is open to the public.
  • An online "Wellness Web Resource" page that will link students, staff, faculty, and the community to a variety of wellness links and health-related  resources. The web-site is currently under development.
  • "Wellness Week" event held each spring to promote the health of members of the Viterbo community through health screenings, informational displays, and presentations.
  • Participation  in community-wide smoking cessation program through La Crosse Area Health Initiative (March 2000).
  • Allowing for research on student wellness issues and the overall effectiveness of the wellness initiative.

"The bottom line is that if our students are healthier, then they’re doing better academically. Traditionally, they’re a population that doesn’t get a lot of healthcare because many are uninsured and simply can’t afford it. We need to do everything we can to ensure their well-being and create a healthier community," says Kreutz.

The Humana Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Humana Incorporated and Employers Health Insurance. Employers Health Insurance was founded in 1969 and purchased by Humana, Inc. of Kentucky in 1995. Based in Green Bay with a major division office in Madison and offices in Wauwatosa, Employer’s Health employs more than 3,300 people and is a publicly held, free standing subsidiary of Humana.

For more information about the Viterbo College Wellness Center, please call program coordinator Rose Kreutz at 608-796-3676.

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