Conference Looks at Strategies to Improve Health of Wisconsin

Sept. 16, 2012

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Program (AHW) and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) will sponsor an inaugural joint conference to highlight initiatives aimed at dealing with Wisconsin’s most challenging public health issues.

The programs were created in 2004 when Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin became a for-profit corporation; the terms of the conversion directed the transfer of the proceeds from the sale of the company to the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for public and community health improvement projects. AHW and WPP have since distributed more than $200 million for funded projects and initiatives to improve the health of Wisconsin residents.

The projects and initiatives, which include community-academic partnerships, educational collaborations and research projects, will be the focus of the conference. The event will be held Thursday, September 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Italian Conference Center in Milwaukee.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to network and exchange ideas regarding successes and challenges of creating community-academic partnerships and disseminating research findings and to further explore collaborations among conference participants.

The keynote speaker is David R. Williams, Ph.D., the Florence Sprague and Laura Smart Normal Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Williams is an internationally recognized social scientist focused on social influences of health.

Other speakers include Joseph E. Kerschner, M.D., dean of the medical school and executive vice president of MCW; Robert N. Golden, M.D., dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UW-Madison; and Cheryl Maurana, Ph.D., vice president for strategic outreach at MCW and director of AHW.

For more information about the conference and the breakout sessions, visit

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