The National Child Protection Training Center announced Wednesday that it will become a part of the Gundersen Lutheran health network, in the center's latest effort to expand its work both regionally and across the country.
The partnership was announced at Maxwell Hall on the Winona State University campus, where the center is headquartered, and featured several speakers including WSU president Scott Olson and Gundersen CEO Jeffrey Thompson. Thompson, a pediatrician, spoke about the heartache he felt while examining young patients who were suspected victims of child abuse.
Center executive director Victor Vieth spoke about the opportunities the partnership will provide for training health-care personnel at all levels to recognize the signs of child abuse.
The announcement likely won't mean any fundamental changes for WSU's involvement with the center. While the center is housed at WSU, it remains independent from the university.
The announcement comes on the heels of a proposal U.S. Rep. Tim Walz D-Minn. and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-Minn. introduced in Congress that would give the center resources to replicate its program at other universities across the country, from providing training to law enforcement to integrating its training with undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
Check back today for updates on this story.