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Health Equity

Opportunities for everyone

All people need opportunities to be active. Without them, people with disabilities, medical conditions or injuries experience a downward trajectory in health, which then impacts employment, financial independence, quality of life and life expectancy. Having a disability but little access to healthy activity dramatically increases the likelihood of developing a secondary condition—not from the disability itself, but from a lack of healthy movement. 

Health equity is achieved when physical, social and other barriers are removed for everyone.

STAR Center strives to give everyone the opportunity to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.

There are many barriers to health equity. Physical barriers, like access to traditional facilities or the lack of adaptive equipment, are just the beginning. Economic and social barriers mean even fewer opportunities.

Transportation challenges, job or caregiver responsibilities, and social isolation compound the problem.

The STAR Center reduces these barriers and gives everyone the chance to lead the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. No one is disadvantaged because of physical limitation, social position or other circumstance.

We believe everyone should have the ability to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.

Veteran in wheelchair
2 in every 7 American families has at least one member with a disability
U.S. Census Bureau
Who We Serve

We serve people with disabilities, chronic conditions, or those recovering from strokes or accidents. The STAR Center will offer an all-inclusive array of programs, allowing all community members to benefit through participation. Every individual will have the opportunity to choose what type of programming best suits their needs.

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Seniors
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Developmental challenges
  • Developmental impairments
  • Autism spectrum
  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congenital syndromes
  • General public
  • General public
  • Caregivers
  • Students
  • Case workers
  • Training coordinators
  • Family members
  • Neurologic challenges
  • Neurologic challenges
  • Spina bifida
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Orthopedic challenges
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • RA
  • Balance issues
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Chronic back pain
  • Physical challenges
  • Trauma
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Physical impairments
  • Veterans
  • Veterans
  • Wounded Warriors
  • PTSD
  • War fighters
  • Team RWB Eagles
  • Social isolation
  • Visual challenges
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Visual challenges
  • Low vision
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Blindness
40% of health outcomes depend on opportunities to stay healthy, not on medical care
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Need for Movement

When medical physical therapy ends, many people have no other way to continue their recovery. The STAR Center provides the physical and social opportunities that allow people to reach their healthy potentials.

Function declines when physical therapy ends

Without STAR Center
No opportunity when medical PT ends
  • Medical PT
  • leads to
  • Crisis care only
  • leads to
  • Declining health
With STAR Center
A path to optimized health
  • Medical PT
  • leads to
  •   Community-based assisted exercise
  • leads to
  • Optimized health

“It’s distressing how many patients ask me to extend their physical therapy…because when it ends, they have no other options.”

Christine M. Brose, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Gundersen Health System
Without activity, additional health problems are inevitable

Having a disability but little access to healthy activity dramatically increases the likelihood of developing a secondary condition.

4 times the depression

4.5 times the COPD

2.5 times the cancer

2.5 times the asthma

3 times the arthritis

2.5 times the diabetes

4.2 times stroke risk

2 times the heart disease

57% more adult obesity

50% more hypertension

40% more elevated cholesterol

Secondary impacts

The STAR Center will not only make direct impacts on the people it serves, but the ripples of benefits in our community will be incalculable. The STAR Center will bring opportunities in vocational job training and hands-on learning experiences for university and college students, along with the opportunity for lasting impacts with health and university research projects. This unique resource will make the greater La Crosse area a more attractive place to live and work.

Academic programs that will be contributing to the STAR Center

  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • therapeutic recreation
  • adaptive physical education
  • athletic training
  • exercise physiology
  • biomechanics
  • sports administration
  • exercise and sports science
  • public health
  • nursing
  • didactics
  • music
  • art
  • recreation management
  • early childhood development
  • facility management
  • sociology
  • marketing