An old building with a long history in the La Crosse community has a new use that makes Gundersen Health System a destination training and education site for medical professionals. Thanks to the contributions of philanthropists and vendors, Gundersen has created an Integrated Center for Education (ICE).
The building called the ICE House in a nod to its original use as an ice house for the Gund Brewery in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The building now holds a technologically advanced center for education that allows Gundersen to enhance its reputation as a national leader in healthcare.
The idea for the ICE House took hold when the Karl Storz Endoskope company approached Gundersen about a partnership. The Germany-based international manufacturer of medical instruments and devices was looking to develop a training center in the upper Midwest.
They provided three state-of-the-art surgical training towers, as well as their OR integration software in space provided by Gundersen. STERIS Corporation, another international medical equipment manufacturer contributed surgical lights, booms, sterilization equipment and OR tables. Contributions from these major vendors and other companies fully outfitted the rooms with the latest equipment. In addition, a donation by the Cleary family and the Cleary-Kumm Foundation covered construction costs for the training space on the lower level of the ICE House.
It is important to note the ICE House is much more than a surgical training center. All of the space is very flexible, allowing it to be used for other medical training, for school groups and more.