Good Luck in the Journey: Jackie Kuta Bangsberg

Jackie Kuta BangsbergIt’s finally going to happen. After over 30 years of building the Sports Medicine Fitness Center into the facility it is today, Jackie Kuta Bangsberg is retiring July 2, 2018.


Back in 1984, Jackie was asked to start a public fitness center for UW Hospital and Clinics. From very modest beginnings in a University Avenue strip mall, the Sports Medicine Fitness Center has grown/evolved into the dynamic and multi-faceted, facility it is today. Jackie guided its growth into a facility where thousands of participants come to exercise every week.


Along the way Jackie’s cheerful demeanor and commitment to compassionate customer care touched hundreds of participants. Many of our fitness center members  (especially those with a history here) and class participants know Jackie well.


Not only did Jackie spearhead the Fitness Center programs here at UW Health – Research Park, she also was instrumental in founding (and then managing) the Integrative Health program at UW Health. As if managing these two departments wasn’t enough, Jackie also managed the Research Park Clinic’s front desk. Oh yeah, and she was also facility director for the Research Park building, too.


It is impossible to encapsulate the impact Jackie has had on this facility and so many of its staff members’ careers. Jackie has always believed in, supported, and advocated for the important role of the fitness professional in health care. The pleasure of working for and with Jackie has truly influenced many gifted and committed staff to continue in this profession (and at this facility) for far longer than the industry average. The skilled and experienced staff that Jackie insisted on are vital to our success as a medically-based fitness facility.


Jackie, pictured center, with UW Health exercise physiologists and Fitness Center staff Dan Wanta (left) and Jude Sullivan (right)We (those who’ve worked for and with Jackie) all recognize how fortunate we have been. Not only has she been a supportive, generous, and compassionate leader – but a heck of a friend too. How rare is it that the biggest smiles, the loudest laughs, and the desire to plan the next social get-together all come from the boss?


Join us in thanking Jackie for all the time, effort, sweat and tears she poured into this place. If you have the chance, please take a moment to say “thank you”, “good bye” and “good luck” to Jackie before she wraps up here on July 2nd.


In exchange for not embarrassing her in this article, Jackie agreed to write a few words herself:


It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that I will be retiring on July 2. Some of you may know me and others may not. I have had the honor of being the Sports Medicine Fitness Center and Integrative Health manager for more than 30 years. Back in 1984 when I was invited to join the newly organized Sports Medicine Center, I was a graduate student at the UW finishing my master’s degree in exercise physiology. I could never have imagined where the center is today. I have been blessed to work with so many wonderful and talented staff. I believe that is what makes our center special … and of course, all of you. I want to thank you for being part of the center and creating this unique environment. Many people have asked me what I plan to do once I retire. That answer is so easy for me – exercise, eat better and meditate. All the things I have advocated for over my career.