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Partnership between Franciscan University of Steubenville, Trinity Health System announced

ANNOUNCEMENT — Officials with Franciscan University of Steubenville and Trinity Health System announced a new partnership Friday supporting Baron athletics. Franciscan’s newly completed synthetic turf field will now be known as Trinity Health System Field. Making the announcement Friday were Matt Grimshaw, president and CEO of Trinity Health System, left, and the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, president of the university. -- Michael D. McElwain

STEUBENVILLE — Franciscan University of Steubenville and the community will benefit from a partnership between the school and Trinity Health System, according to officials with both organizations.

That partnership was announced Friday morning, and the university’s newly completed synthetic turf field will now be known as Trinity Health System Field.

Matt Grimshaw, president and CEO of Trinity Health System, and the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, president of the university, lauded the partnership.

“Trinity Health System has a commitment to community involvement, and there is an obvious synergy between our health ministry and that of Franciscan University,” Grimshaw said. “We are excited about this opportunity to partner with Franciscan University and look forward to future projects together in our community as a whole.”

Pivonka agreed with Grimshaw’s stance and said the partnership goes beyond athletics.

“In our formal agreement, Franciscan and Trinity Health expressed our shared mission to promote moral, spiritual and religious values that make the presence of God known in our world,” Pivonka said. “This partnership will enhance Franciscan’s mission to provide our student-athletes with faith-based, virtue-driven athletic programs.”

Trinity Health System Field will be used by Franciscan’s NCAA Division III men’s and women’s soccer, lacrosse and track and field teams as well as for Franciscan’s recreational and intramural contests.

The field and track will be used for community activities such as the upcoming combine where area high school athletes put their talents on display for college coaches.

Also on hand and offering comments on the partnership were Dan Dentino, VP of student life and Baron athletics, and Mike Andreola, executive director of philanthropic giving. Several student athletes who will take advantage of the new facility were also on hand for the announcement.

“On behalf of our current and future student-athletes who participate in Division III NCAA sports, club athletics, recreational opportunities, intramurals — on behalf of all of these future and current students — I want to thank everybody and thank Trinity in particular for your generous support for the Trinity Health System Field,” Dentino said.

Dentino indicated the facility already has made a significant impact.

“I will say that since this field was open, I have dropped my 40-yard dash time by two-10ths of a second,” he said with a smile.

Andreola said, in many ways, the mission for Franciscan and Trinity are aligned.

“These two organizations share such a wonderful mission in common,” Andreola said. “And what we do for the community together in terms of the physical and mental health of our residents and our students, the intellectual well-being of everyone — there’s such a great commonality there, so it’s really gratifying.”

Grimshaw said the alignment was a natural fit.

“We see an institution that is committed to making a difference not just in the classroom, not just on students when they come here for four years, but convincing students that this is a place to stay,” Grimshaw said. “That’s appealing to invest in and to get involved in.”

Pivonka said he’s pleased with the impact the facility has had within the community as a whole.

“One of the things I appreciate is — and I go up to the field fairly often — is it’s not just our athletes, it’s not just our students that are using the track,” Pivonka said. “I think people in the local community are coming here. It’s kind of a little oasis for them that allows them to be able to walk.”

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