Violence Prevention Initiative Staff

John Meurer, MD, MBA

Director, Institute For Health and Society (VPI)

John Meurer, MD, MBA, is Principal Investigator of the Youth Violence Prevention Initiative of the Medical College of Wisconsin Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. Dr. Meurer is Professor and Director of the Institute for Health and Society at MCW which aims to improve health and advance equity through partnerships. John leads initiatives to improve the health of populations of employees, patients and communities. He serves on the Clinical Translational Science Institute Community Engagement key function. Dr Meurer directs the primary care research fellowship in the Institute and in Pediatrics. He enjoys caring for patients and teaching pediatric residents at the Downtown Health Center. He also likes teaching health policy, management and systems improvement for medical and graduate students and community members.

Staci Young, PhD

Senior Faculty Director, Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

Staci Young is the Senior Faculty Director for the Violence Prevention Initiative and has been part of the VPI since February 2010. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Institute for Health and Society. She earned her MS and PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has extensive experience forming, sustaining and evaluating community-academic partnerships to improve health. She is a medical sociologist that uses qualitative methodology to investigate how health organizations and systems influence provider behaviors and health outcomes. Her research interests include health professions advocacy for vulnerable patients and populations, the organization of work among health professionals in traditional and community-based clinical settings, and the relationship between the urban environment, acute and chronic life stressors, and health status.

Anthony Caples, MDiv

Community Outreach Coordinator, Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

Anthony Caples has been an advocate for the majority of his career to serving the needs of the community with an emphasis of working with youth and victims of violence. Anthony currently serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) with the Medical College of Wisconsin. Anthony works to establish and nurture partnerships in the community with an emphasis of educating the community of violence and how it has become a public health issue. Anthony, a native of Milwaukee, is an ordained minister and Associate Pastor at Community Baptist Church of Greater Milwaukee. Anthony holds a Master of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary.

Elizabeth Heimerl

Program Coordinator, Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

Elizabeth Heimerl serves as a Program Coordinator for the Violence Prevention Initiative, primarily supporting the UNCOM and Safe School Healthy Students partnership teams. Prior to coming to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Elizabeth was a Restorative Justice Coordinator for Milwaukee Public Schools, where her primary role was managing the Peer Jury program. Elizabeth has several years of experience working with Milwaukee’s youth, both inside and outside of the classroom. Elizabeth attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master ’s Degrees in Community Engagement and a Non-Profit Management Certificate.

John Rakowski

Program Coordinator, Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI)

John L. Rakowski currently serves as Program Coordinator for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI), primarily supporting the Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative and the Ripple Effect Milwaukee partnership teams. John brings over ten years of experience leading community-based youth engagement and violence prevention efforts throughout Milwaukee and Chicago. John is committed to fostering sustainable collaborations, including community-academic partnerships, that positively impact youth and the greater community. A proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools, John grew up on the city's north side and graduated from Harold S. Vincent High School. John earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Contact Us

VPI Community Office
1801 N. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 955-2699
(414) 955-0114 (fax)
Contact Us Form

VPI Site Map

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
Directions & Maps
© 2015

Page Updated 01/09/2015