Medical College of Wisconsin
Press Release

MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Awards More than $2 Million to Improve Health across Wisconsin

The selected initiatives demonstrated promise in advancing policy and systems change to address some of Wisconsin’s most pressing health issues.

By - Nov 21st, 2017 08:31 am
The Health Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Health Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus. Photo courtesy of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 20, 2017 –  The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment recently awarded $2.1 million to five initiatives to improve health in communities across Wisconsin as part of its policy and systems awards.

The selected initiatives demonstrated promise in advancing policy and systems change to address some of Wisconsin’s most pressing health issues, including suicide prevention, shelter for vulnerable women, immunizations, safe prescriptions, and child care resources. The initiatives are geographically dispersed, and work with communities across the state as well as in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Monroe and Vernon counties.

“Each of these initiatives are working to address important health issues in very different communities with diverse needs across Wisconsin,” said Christina Ellis, program director at the AHW Endowment. “But they all share a commitment to improving health through partnerships with a focus on policy and systems change.”

These initiatives are part of the AHW Endowment’s strategy to support communities working with MCW to improve health through changing the systems that create the structures in which the people of Wisconsin work, live and play. “By changing the system, the AHW Endowment and its partnering communities can see the benefits of the change continue beyond the initial award,” said Cheryl Maurana, senior associate dean and director for the AHW Endowment. In addition to funding, awardees receive access to technical assistance and educational opportunities to share best practices and lessons learned. Another round of funding will be released by the AHW Endowment through a competitive process in the coming months.

Five initiatives chosen to change policies and systems that could lead to sustainable improvements in health in Wisconsin communities include:

  • $349,886 to help Milwaukee women in street-based sex work find safe shelter and housing. A partnership with the Benedict Center, MCW and Continuum of Care, among others, the three-year award will change policies and protocols to increase access to safe shelter and housing for women in street prostitution in order to reduce their risk of violence and injury.
  • $446,063 to prevent medication errors for all Wisconsin residents resulting from misread labels.  Every day, thousands of Wisconsin residents fail to fully benefit from prescription medications, and many suffer new health problems—all because they misunderstand the prescription directions. Through a partnership between Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. and MCW, this three-year award continues work to create a statewide standard that will help patients and their families safely take the medications they need for their health.
  • $419,691 to reduce suicide in Fond du Lac County. In Wisconsin, suicide rates are highest among 40 to 54-year old men. This three-year award will work with the Fond du Lac School District, Comprehensive Service Integration and MCW to help create a coordinated county-wide system to address suicide in this population.
  • $489,121 to expand immunization services for Wisconsin families through partnerships with community pharmacies across the state.  A partnership between the Wisconsin Pharmacy Foundation and MCW, this award will use the next two and half years to expand access to immunizations by developing a consistent vaccination protocol and training for pharmacist-provided vaccines offered at Wisconsin community pharmacies, and ultimately, increase immunization rates and reduce the prevalence of vaccine preventable diseases in the state.
  • $399,808 to improve children’s health and care services in Monroe and Vernon Counties. Using a unique approach, this initiative will bring child care programs into a network of shared services for families across the region. In addition, the project will connect children to medical homes, while embedding developmental screenings and support for families early in a child’s development.

About the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment
The AHW Endowment is dedicated to changing lives for a healthier Wisconsin through improving policy and systems, investing in strategic initiatives, and serving as a partner with communities to build capacity. With our partners, the AHW Endowment is driving meaningful change for a healthier Wisconsin. Since 2004, the AHW Endowment has invested over $220M in more than 375 research, education and community health initiatives and resides at the Medical College of Wisconsin. More information about the AHW Endowment can be found at www.mcw.edu/ahw.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement.  More than 1,250 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, MCW-Green Bay, and MCW-Central Wisconsin in 2016. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY2016, faculty received more than $225 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,650 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 530,000 patients annually.

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