Donation Boosts Project SEARCH as Start Date Nears

Golf outing gift will support internship program for students with disabilities

A training and education program for students with intellectual disabilities will kick off locally this fall with some added support, thanks to a recent donation from the 2015 Schreiber Charity Golf Classic.

Project SEARCH is a one-year transition program for students during their last year of high school eligibility. Gov. Scott Walker announced the expansion of Project SEARCH to Green Bay in July 2014, and the program is set to begin in early September of this year at Bellin Hospital and HSHS St. Vincent Hospital.

Project SEARCH was one of two beneficiaries of last week’s Schreiber Charity Golf Classic, and will benefit from a donation of $110,000. The funds will be used for specialized classroom technology and other program support.

“We were honored to be chosen as a beneficiary of this year’s golf classic, and we’re so excited about all the things these funds will enable us to do,” said Pete Knox, Bellin Health executive vice president and chief learning and innovation officer. “We have worked hard to get ready to welcome Project SEARCH, and we simply can’t wait to get started this fall.”

Seven students will make up the inaugural Project SEARCH class at Bellin and HSHS St. Vincent hospitals. For the 2015-16 academic year, their days will be split between classroom instruction and internship rotations in various hospital departments. In addition to the two hospitals, ASPIRO, CESA 7, area high schools and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development-Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are partnering to present the program locally.

“HSHS St. Vincent Hospital is really looking forward to the start of Project SEARCH this fall,” said Larry Connors, chief operating officer of HSHS St. Vincent Hospital. “We are honored to have the students help us carry out our vision of bringing health, healing and hope to the Northeast Wisconsin community. Project SEARCH is a wonderful program deserving of the generous donation from the 2015 Schreiber Charity Golf Classic.”

The inaugural Bellin/HSHS St. Vincent Project SEARCH class, plus family members, teachers, mentors and various hospital staff members, will gather Thursday, Aug. 6 for a welcome event. They will see their new classroom, tour the hospitals and enjoy a picnic lunch at Baird Place Park.