No Longer an island
In July of 2011, with funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) development grant, Walnut Way, and its partners launched the Lindsay Heights Men's Wellness Council (MWC) to engage African American men who live, work and serve in our community. For 18 months, 12 African American men met monthly for meaningful dialogue and to develop action recommendations for improving men's well-being.
Discussions by MWC members brought to light the tremendous isolation and pressure African American fathers and men experience in our community, highlighted by their self-definition as "an island of one." The men created a documentary and an action plan. Today, with an implementation grant from the WPP, that action plan is being realized through a program called No Longer an Island.
No Longer an Island is designed to allow the participating men and fathers of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood to no longer shoulder their burdens alone and create spaces where they can thrive and build (themselves, their families and their community) in an environment of peer support. This project was created to strengthen bonds and networks among men in the neighborhood, link them to connected resources and growth opportunities, and promote inter-generational relationships between neighborhood men of all ages.
In its third year of implementation, the project has connected with over 80 men at their homes, connecting 46 to jobs or internships and 13 have returned to school or have received certified training. The project has also convened almost 50 men in on-going structured peer groups. Additionally, the project has begun to collect stories from the participants and shares them on a website called IMTHEBRIDGE.ORG
This project was designed by the men it serves. It continues to engage men in building on their assets and the assets of the partners and community to break down the isolation and create new social and community norms.
Walnut Way, UW-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health and the Center for Urban Population Health
Linking Patients to Appropriate Care and Medical Homes
The Emergency Department (ED) Care Coordination is a priority initiative of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership. The goals of this initiative include:
If a patient presents in one of Milwaukee County EDs with one of five priority conditions, a social worker provides the patient with education about the initiative and their eligibility. The social worker then is able to identify a time and location that is convenient to the patient and schedules the appointment with their new medical home. This is possible through the use of MyHealthDIRECT appointment scheduling technology. Local community health centers post open appointments, and the EDs can schedule appointments electronically while the patient is at the hospital. Once the appointment is scheduled, the intake coordinators at community health centers reach out to patients prior to the first appointment and attempt to reschedule if the appointment is not kept.
The project is successful; year-to-date appointments are up 43% compared to the previous year and patients are filling 93% of the available appointments at the federally qualified health centers, their new medical home.
Center researchers from UW-Milwaukee evaluate the project through the use of appointment data to evaluate scheduled and kept clinic appointments according to the hospital system, clinic site, and payer type.
Aurora Health Care, Aurora Family Services, Center for Urban Population Health, Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, and the local Federally Qualified Health Centers, My Health Direct, and UW-Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s Collaborative Approach to Increase Colorectal Screening
Assessing the Health of Communities
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Wisconsin and the second leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the state. Early detection and screening can detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages increasing the success of treatment and reducing mortality (death) from the disease. In 2012, 72% of Wisconsin adults were considered ‘up-to-date’ on their colorectal cancer screening yet local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and community health centers who serve a high population of African American, Hispanic, Native American and Hmong men and women living below the poverty line in the Milwaukee area, their CRC screening rate was around 34%.
This year The UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the Center, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are partnering with all Milwaukee-Area Federally Qualified Health Centers and Aurora Health Care’s Walkers Point Clinic to increase colorectal cancer screening rates to coincide with the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative of reaching 80% screening rate by 2018. Strategies include:
· Establish clinic teams and champions and assess baseline CRC screening rate.
· Improve organizational policies and impact systems change that will increase screening rates and decrease disparities in screening and colorectal mortality by the adoption of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) such as provider reminders, patient reminders, and reduction of structural barriers.
· Assess process and outcome measures and evaluate the quality improvement initiative.
This five-year project targets patients aged 50-75 years old who seek their medical care from one of the Milwaukee area clinic partners.
This year the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and the Center partnered with Aurora Health Care and the other health system members of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership to conduct a collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in six counties in southeast Wisconsin. The CHNA for Milwaukee County is done in collaboration with the twelve municipal health departments in the county. The CHNA relies on three sources of information:
The Center analyzed the key informants and focus groups, compiles the secondary data report and creates a summary of all reports.
This assessment is conducted every three years; the 2015 CHNA findings show some changes since the previous assessment in 2012. Although access to affordable health care services continues to rank as a pressing need, chronic disease management and prevention rose as a high priority among survey respondents and key informants. So too, is the issue of violence, which factored prominently in key informant feedback.
In addition to the need for primary care, the CHNA showed that Milwaukee residents also lack access to oral health and behavioral health care services. Along with difficulty in navigating complex systems of care, these concerns were consistently noted among respondents across Milwaukee County, which ranks second to last in state health outcomes, according to the County Health Rankings.
In recognizing the impact of socio-economic factors such as poverty, education, and employment on individual and population health, the findings reinforce the Partnership’s cross-sector collaborations to improve community health.
Based on the health assessment’s key findings, each hospital and local health department in Milwaukee will select priorities and develop individualized plans to improve the health of the community it serves. The findings will also inform the Partnership’s 2016 – 2017 operating plan.
The Milwaukee Health Care Partnership members: Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital of WI, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System, Froedtert Health, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
In Collaboration with the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the surrounding municipal health departments