Near West Side Partners, Inc.
Press Release

Near West Side Partners, Marquette University Receive National Recognition, Two Grants to Support Community Health Equity Efforts

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and PCORI Advance Health Care in Near West Side

By - Oct 24th, 2018 12:30 pm

MILWAUKEE (October 24, 2018) – Leaders from Near West Side Partners (NWSP) anchor institution Marquette University have recently received recognition and funding from two national organizations, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focused on community health improvement. The awards, totaling $345,000, build on a history of health care and health research in Milwaukee’s Near West Side.

“The Near West Side has historically been a hub for health care in our city. In decades past, our neighborhoods were home to hospitals like Mount Sinai, St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s,” said Near West Side Partners Executive Director Keith Stanley. “That tradition continues with the strong presence of anchor institution Aurora Health Care, the Marquette University Dental School – the only dental school in the State of Wisconsin – and now with nationally-renowned organizations enabling Marquette University to provide new focused efforts on improving community health.”

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Marquette University College of Health Sciences has been awarded a $250,000 Eugene Washington Engagement: Capacity Building Award from PCORI. This funding will enable two years of patient-centered research and capacity building focused on Near West Side employees. The research will empower employees with chronic health conditions to inform health offerings, such as wellness programming, that are managed through the work environment to improve their long-term health.

Daniel Pinto, P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D., of Marquette University is the principal investigator for the PCORI grant. With Pinto’s guidance, and the support of a future full-time staff member, the research team will form a stakeholder panel comprised of local and national health researchers, local clinicians and one representative from each Near West Side Partners anchor institution. The stakeholder panel will build an infrastructure for conducting patient-centered health research within the NWSP that will lead to improved health and quality of life of employees.

“Workers engaged in their health have improved health outcomes and can appreciate the connection between their job and their health,” said Pinto. “Because of this grant, we will be able to bring patient-centered research practices to Milwaukee’s Near West Side community. This has been made possible because of the national spotlight shining on the Near West Side as a result of successful NWSP efforts over the past four years.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders

Additionally, Patrick Kennelly, Principal Investigator for NWSP’s signature Promoting Assets Reducing Crime (PARC) initiative and Director of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, has been selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. Kennelly is one of 40 leaders nationwide chosen to participate in this leadership development program and receives a total of $95,000 to support improvements in health policy and practice in the Near West Side.

“The Near West Side represents an area of the City of Milwaukee with some of the most striking health disparities. I envision a Near West Side community where, throughout their lives, people are successful and healthy,” said Kennelly. “This vision is rooted in my belief that the challenges this area faces can be solved rather than managed. Being named to the Culture of Health Leaders will provide the necessary support to turn that hope into reality.”


Near West Side Partners, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to revitalize and sustain the Near West Side as a thriving business and residential corridor, through collaborative efforts to promote commercial corridor development, improved housing, unified neighborhood identity and branding, and greater safety for residents and businesses.  Near West Side Partners, Inc. is an organization of businesses and civic leaders from throughout the Near West Side, including the organization’s five anchor institutions – Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corp.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information they need to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking

input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. For more information, visit


For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit

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