By Peter Elijah Lim
With cold season in full swing, many students find themselves in need of a visit to a doctor but lack off-campus transportation. Others require a quick and convenient way to get a prescription filled or bloodwork done.
These were just a few of the needs administrators had in mind when the Baron Wellness Center partnered with Trinity Health Clinic in fall 2022.
This new collaboration with Trinity Health has been overseen by a team of faculty: Daniel Dentino, vice president of student life; Joseph Pathakamuri, who has a doctorate in molecular virology; and Matthew Burriss, director of the Wellness Center.
Dentino said of the partnership, “We are here to meet students’ needs and expand the university’s services with the physical and mental side so they (students) can have a strong mind and strong body before they graduate as disciples.”
This partnership has made it possible for the Wellness Center on campus to be equipped with a chiropractor as well as new nurses and physicians. Now, referrals can be made, blood drawn and prescriptions filled at the Wellness Center.
In addition, the Wellness Center is spearheading educational outreach programs on nutrition, healthy relationships, stress management and strength and conditioning training.
Another focus of this partnership has been expanding student access to counseling services by adding a new counselor to the Wellness Center staff.
According to its website, Trinity Health System has an extensive history with the Catholic Church, beginning long before this new partnership with Franciscan.
Trinity Health System was formed on May 1, 2013, by the merging of two Catholic health systems: Holy Cross Health System and Catholic Health East.
Holy Cross Health System was founded in 1979 by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. The Sisters of the Holy Cross, in turn, were founded in 1841 by the Rev. Basil Anthony Moreau.
Holy Cross Health System was formed in 1979 to bring together all the healthcare organizations that the Sisters of the Holy Cross had been running for over 100 years.
Catholic Health East was an integration of the health systems of multiple religious orders: the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and the Sisters of Providence.
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas were founded in 1831 by Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland with a mission of serving the suffering in a Christlike manner. For the next decade, the sisters served the poor throughout England and Ireland.
After McAuley passed away in 1841, the Sisters of Mercy moved to the Americas and founded hospitals, schools and orphanages for women and girls in need.
In 1976, the Sisters of Mercy established Mercy Health Services to integrate their hospitals.
The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany were founded in 1859 by the Rev. Pamfilo da Magliano, a Franciscan priest in search of Franciscan sisters who could teach for the Diocese of Buffalo. In addition to the congregation’s work in education and social work for children and the elderly, it began to run the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boston in 1883.
The Sisters of Providence, founded in 1843 in Montreal, Quebec, began their ministry in the U.S. in 1873 when a pastor from Holyoke, Massachusetts requested their help in ministering to the poor of the area. In response, the Sisters of Providence founded the first hospital in Holyoke. Following in the rule of St. Vincent de Paul, the congregation also served children and elderly in the area.
On Jan. 8, 1998, Catholic Health East was founded. Twelve religious health ministries, including those from the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Providence and Franciscan Sisters of Allegany combined to create the new health system.
Just over 15 years later, Catholic Health East and Holy Cross Health became Trinity Health System.
Trinity’s new partnership with Franciscan’s Baron Wellness Center is just the latest part of a long history of upholding Catholic values.
To make an appointment at the Wellness Center, students can go to the front desk at the bottom level of Finnegan Fieldhouse or call the center’s number: (740) 264-8000.