La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium

    Fostering collaboration for healthier communities

    The Consortium was founded in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and a collaboration of the five founding partner institutions. While it was created in response to projected health care workforce shortages, it also facilitates improvements in regional health and healthcare and supports applied research in health and medically related disciplines.

    The first project of the Consortium was to establish the Health Science Center, a facility for education and research that would house programs of the partnering institutions. The building was opened in the summer of 2000 and today is home to programs, classes, and research efforts of Gundersen Health System, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Technical College.

    In 2005, the Consortium began engaging not only within their partnership but in the community, recognizing the value of the education/healthcare collaboration to the community at large. Several teams were established to explore project work in the areas of improving population health, addressing healthcare workforce shortages, increasing graduates in healthcare programs, and finding collaborations among researchers. Today, we are involved in a number of community-based projects that reach beyond the core partnership into our surrounding region.

    In 2009, the La Crosse County Health Department and the School District of La Crosse joined the Consortium as partners.


    Counties Served

    Wisconsin: Buffalo, Clark, Crawford, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Trempealeau, Vernon

    Minnesota: Fillmore, Houston, Wabasha, Winona

    Iowa: Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Winneshiek

    Health Science Consortium Counties Served

    Mission:  "Fostering collaboration for healthier communities"

    What are we doing to accomplish our mission of "fostering collaboration for healthier communities"?


    The Consortium acts in many roles, depending on the needs of the community.  We can serve as a leader of a collaborative effort, a convener of partners, a participant in coalitions and teams, or an assistant to organizations seeking shared funding or planning.


    Role of the La Crosse Consortium


    We work both internally, to help our partners and their collaborators find common solutions to issues that affect everyone, and externally, assisting community partners and collaboratives with managing complex projects and encouraging dialogue within the community through events and presentations.


    Here are some of our key efforts:

    Role of the La Crosse Consortium



    Cultural Competence Learning Modules and Other Resources

    An online curriculum and other resources to assist healthcare workers and others improve their competencies interacting with patients and their families from different cultures. Adaptable to any online Learning Management System. 

    Healthcare Career Programs

    A comprehensive guide to the region's academic programs offered for those seeking to enter or advance in a healthcare career. 

    Nurse Networking Summit

    Nurse Networking is a group of nurses throughout the community who are actively engaged in a variety of nursing services (including retired volunteer work). Their purpose is to create opportunities for our profession to come together in a softer way-not for the primary goal of continuing education, but for the primary goal of helping us remember why we chose nursing as a profession and why we still feel this is a worthy job. By creating the opportunity to meet others who are very different than us and yet united in several key ways, we can find support and personal growth for ourselves and for our mission.  Summit is usually held in early spring.

    2023 Presenter:  Lacey Heward

    Website     Facebook     You Tube

    Resource List

    Online Clinical Placement of Nursing Students

    Working from a base software called Student Link, developed by HealthForce Minnesota, this online tool assists academic institutions and healthcare providers to match up the needs and availability of clinical sites for area nursing students and other allied health professions.  Each semester, local academic institutions request the clinical sites needed for their respective programs.


    Burden of Risky Alcohol Use in La Crosse County (2017)

    The final report describing alcohol trends in La Crosse County from the Changing the Culture of Risky Drinking Behavior Coalition.

    Burden of Health Disparities in Chronic Illnesses (2014)

    A report describing disparities in chronic disease outcomes related to differences in race, age, income, and other socioeconomic factors.

    Burden of Mental Illness Report (2011)

    A report detailing the impact of mental illness on the greater La Crosse region.

    Burden of Obesity and Physical Inactivity Report (2009)

    A report describing the economic impact on the community of obesity and a lack of physical activity in the population.



  • STAFF:
    Executive Director
    Catherine Kolkmeier
    Executive Director
    Project Manager
    Joanne Sandvick
    Project Manager
    • President

      Kevin Dean
      Western Technical College
      Dean of Health and Public Safety
    • Vice President/Secretary

      Scott Rathgaber
      Gundersen Health System
      Chief Executive Officer
    • Treasurer

      Robert Hetzel
      University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
      Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance


    • Ju Kim
      University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
      Dean, College of Science and Health
    • Erik St. Louis
      Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
      Research Chair - Southwest WI Region
    • Aaron Engel
      School District of La Crosse
    • Megan Smith
      Viterbo University
      Associate Professor, Chair BSN-T Program, School of Nursing
    • Roger Stanford
      Western Technical College
    • Kraig Schuster
      Gundersen Health System
      Vice President, Team 4 and Critical Access Hospitals
    • Audra Martine
      La Crosse County Health Department
      Director/Health Officer
    • Carolyn Flock
      Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare
      Program Manager, Research Operations

    La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium

    1300 Badger St., Office 3065

    La Crosse, WI 54601, U.S.A.

    ph: 608.785.5150

    fx: 608.785.5154

Date Last Updated: 09/26/2023 1:31 pm