Year One as a Changemaker
In January 2014, the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment began its 2014-2018 Five-Year Plan, Moving from Grantmaker to Changemaker. The document reaffirmed the AHW Endowment’s commitment to health improvement and articulated a new approach to catalyzing positive change in the health of Wisconsin residents.
One year later, the AHW Endowment has implemented new strategies outlined in the plan as it transitions into the role of a changemaker. The Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program (HWPP) recently funded three projects under its Responsive component, which supports sustainable health improvement through positive changes in organizational practices and/or the environment. A second group of applicant teams submitted applications for the Responsive component in January.
The HWPP Strategic component, through which the AHW Endowment invests in targeted community health priorities, is also underway. Through the first priority of community-based mental and behavioral health, the AHW endowment will catalyze knowledge sharing, partnership development, and the creation of new initiatives promoting education, enhancing prevention, and increasing the prevalence of positive mental health. The work will begin with a call for participants to be members of a Learning Community, which the AHW Endowment anticipates releasing before summer this year.
The 2014-2018 Five-Year Plan provided a new opportunity for researchers working on fundamental discovery in biomedical science to collaborate with clinical and population health investigators. More than 60 applicants submitted projects during the Research and Education Program’s (REP) first request for proposals under REP’s Responsive component.
Through its Strategic component, REP has supported MCW Research Focus Areas such as cardiovascular research and neuroscience. These initiatives have an increased emphasis on clinical and translational research to accelerate the discovery and testing of improved treatments. To support MCW’s Education mission, REP also provided funding for the development of a new educational pathway focused on developing students into leaders in the fields of health care delivery systems and health policy.
As the AHW Endowment continues to grow into its new changemaker role, it will focus on further implementation of the Five-Year Plan’s Capacity Building components. While there have been a few efforts in these areas over the first year, this aspect of the AHW Endowment will grow to provide skill-building, collaboration and dissemination opportunities that will help the Endowment and its partners work together to achieve the vision of a healthier Wisconsin.