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The Medical College of Wisconsin Awards $4.5 Million for 12 Community Health Projects

Oct. 31, 2012

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP) will fund 12 new community health projects totaling $4.5 million.

Four impact awards will receive approximately $750,000 each over five years and eight development awards will receive approximately $200,000 each over two years. Projects are selected for funding through a rigorous process led by the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Consortium on Public and Community Health, comprised of MCW and public members.

“These twelve projects represent new and innovative methods for approaching public health improvement as well as expansion of best practices created through previous community-academic partnerships,” said Syed M. Ahmed, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.PH, F.A.A.F.P., senior associate dean for Community Engagement and director of the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program.

Impact awards aim to implement health promotion and disease prevention programs targeting a range of diverse health needs. One of this year’s impact projects provides mental health support for veterans, while another grant helps create healthy schools to reduce obesity. Of the eight development awards aimed at program planning and pilot projects, one award focuses on integrating hunger relief and health care efforts to better manage care and nutrition for diabetes patients who are uninsured or underinsured.

“The MCW Consortium on Public and Community Health endorses the new projects funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program as part of MCW’s commitment to improve the quality of health throughout Wisconsin,” said Cheryl A. Maurana, Ph.D., director of Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin and an MCW Consortium member.

HWPP is one of three programs within the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin endowment created by funds generated from Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin’s conversion to a for-profit corporation. HWPP awards grants to partnerships between academics and community health and non-profit organizations for urban, rural and statewide health improvement projects in Wisconsin.

Since 2004, HWPP has invested $43.8 million in more than 140 community-academic health improvement projects, including $9.3 million for the Violence Prevention Initiative. For more information on individual projects, please see the list below or visit HWPP’s website:



DryHootch iPeer: A Social & Technology Support Program for Veteran Mental Health
County: Milwaukee
Goal: Improve access to trained peer mentor support for veterans at risk for mental health problems on college campuses using face-to-face and smartphone interventions.

Healthy Environments, Healthy Choices, Healthier People
County: La Crosse
Goal: Create school environments which support healthy lifestyle choices to reduce obesity risk over the lifespan through policy change, training, education and increased community understanding of obesity prevention practices.

romoting Healthy Relationships Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth
Goal: The goal of this project is to promote healthy relationship behaviors among LGBT youth in Wisconsin (ages 14-24) to decrease their risk of intimate partner dating violence.

Specialty Access for Uninsured Program in Milwaukee County
County: Milwaukee
Goal: Ensure timely, clinically appropriate, managed access to specialty care for low-income, uninsured adults in Milwaukee County through the structured model pairing safety net clinics and health systems.


A Social Network Approach for Health and Safety among Rural Intimate Partner Violence Survivors
Counties: Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago
Goal: Improve health and safety among rural women who are survivors of intimate partner violence by building upon an existing social network of rural women and targeted programming designed to support wellness and self-care.

Diabetes: Working Wellness in Waukesha – Together
County: Waukesha
Goal: To develop an integrated model between community hunger relief resources and health care systems to ensure consistent quality care for uninsured or underinsured people with diabetes in Waukesha County.

Fostering Futures
Goal: Develop a plan to translate scientific evidence about adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and resiliency into practice in systems of care impacting Wisconsin children and families receiving child welfare services.

Improving Access to Prenatal Oral Healthcare: Strategies and Sustainability
County: Milwaukee
Goal: Understand how improved access to dental treatment affects the oral-health knowledge and behavior of at-risk pregnant women.

One Hundred Healthy, At-Risk Families
County: Milwaukee
Goal: This initiative prepares a network of pastors, nurses, at-risk seniors and their care support workers across ten urban Milwaukee church communities to sustain the safety, health and stability of 100 at-risk parishioner families.

Impacting Positive Youth Development in Rusk County Through Prevention and Intervention
County: Rusk
Goal: This project explores the feasibility of developing: 1) a comprehensive, evidence-based prevention program, and 2) intervention strategies to address Rusk County youth behavioral health and substance use issues.

Promoting Healthy Body Weight among African-American Women through a Community Participatory Model
County: Milwaukee
Goal: This project will bring together partners from the target Lindsay Heights neighborhood, MCW, Marquette University and the Bread of Healing Clinic to promote healthy body weight among African American females through a community based participatory model.

The Sisters Project: Helping Women Exit the Violence of Prostitution
County: Milwaukee
Goal: The Sisters Project aims to prevent violence against women involved in Milwaukee's sex trade by developing an action plan that integrates local and national best practices in prostitution intervention strategies.

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