Lilliann Paine’s Ideas Led to a Seismic Shift in Public Health Policy in Milwaukee and Nationwide
Milwaukee, WI – Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson released the following statement regarding the contributions of Lilliann Paine to Milwaukee County’s efforts to dismantle institutional racism and work towards racial equity.
“On the final day of women’s history month, I want to give a special shout out to Lilliann Paine for her tireless efforts to work for racial equity, and for helping Milwaukee County set a course to becoming the healthiest county in the State of Wisconsin.
“Lilliann Paine is a visionary public health policy leader who devised the concept of declaring racism a public health crisis while in graduate school but encountered barriers as she worked within local government to translate this vision into policy.
“Lilliann’s vision and determination is what inspired me to develop an official policy declaring racism a public health crisis for Milwaukee County and carry her vision forward.
“Since I joined with then County Executive Chris Abele to declare racism a public health crisis in April 2019, nearly 100 counties and municipalities across the country have followed our lead.
“Lilliann’s vision for improving public health by declaring racism a public health crisis was a catalyst that effected an organizational and cultural realignment within Milwaukee County government, and her contributions will never be forgotten.
“Together, our work has led to Milwaukee County’s first-ever strategic plan, and the County is now empowered to dismantle the structural and institutional racism that has held us back and work towards the goal of making Milwaukee County the healthiest county in Wisconsin.