Healthier WI Partnership Program

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Frequently Asked Questions About Partnerships  

 Is it necessary for a project to have a community-MCW academic partnership?

Yes. At least one community partner and one Medical College partner must jointly apply as a partnership. Community partners and Medical College partners may be involved in more than one partnership and may apply with different partners for different projects. Please read the Eligibility Requirements.

 How can I find an academic partner from the Medical College for my project?

Strong partnerships are evolutionary. It is important to begin working on your partnership well in advance of submitting your proposal. Start by identifying areas of your project that would be complemented by an academic partner. Work through your existing networks. Investigate the Medical College of Wisconsin website at Then, refer to our online  Faculty Collaboration Database or Academic Partner Directory to research Medical College faculty and staff interested in forging community - academic partnerships.

 Who is held accountable for the reporting, oversight, and outcome of the funded project?

It is the responsibility of the funded partnership to jointly oversee and engage in the successes and challenges of their project. This includes providing written progress reports and a final report on forms provided by the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program.

 Can a community organization submit more than one proposal if it is working with several partners?

Yes, but each proposal must be for a different project. Community partners may have more than one academic partner for the same or separate projects. Academic partners may have more than one community partner for the same or separate projects. As long as the proposals are each for different projects, they may be submitted. We encourage you to submit the strongest of your proposals.

 Can MCW partners receive compensation from project budget?

Yes, MCW faculty may receive funds directly from the budget. MCW faculty, just as their community partners, must justify that their involvement with the project is distinct from existing work.

 May a Medical College faculty member partner with several organizations on different projects simultaneously?
Yes, as long as any proposed faculty time allocations included in the funding requests are distinct for each project and as long as the funding requests do not supplant (replace) funding that already exists.
 Can an organization apply as part of a consortium or coalition?

A consortium or coalition may be formed and may either identify one organization to serve as the eligible community partner or demonstrate its joint and legal 501 (c)3 status to meet the eligibility requirement.

 Is each community partner required to submit the final determination letter from the IRS on their tax exempt status?

To receive direct funding from HWPP, the community organization must be defined by 501 (c) (3) status or government designation.  Each community partner, excluding governmental entities, that will request funding on the proposal must submit proof of non-profit status.  A governmental entity (such as a public university), is not required to provide proof, even if requesting funding.  Any community partner that is participating in-kind and/or will not request funding directly for its role on the project does not need to submit proof of non-profit status.

 Can you share an example of a successful community-medical school partnership?

Information for every project funded by HWPP is available under the Funded Projects section of this website.

 Given that there is a partnership requirement for projects, and most MCW faculty are based in Milwaukee at the Medical College of Wisconsin, how can we facilitate a productive partnership if we are a rural-based community organization?

Many rural partnerships and projects are already under development. There are many creative ways to foster partnerships between rural community organizations and Milwaukee-based academic partners who are located in different parts of the state.
For instance:
1. Consider how distance tools such as web-based video connections can be utilized in the partnership (these expenses can be included in a proposal budget).
2. Consider utilization of the phone for consultation or meeting participation. Invest in a speakerphone (again, a legitimate expense in the budget).
3. Arrange for 2 to 4 or even more in-person meetings, half of which are in Milwaukee and half of which are in your community.
4. Budget the mileage and other related expenses in your proposal budget.
5. Identify a role for the faculty partner that is primarily technical in nature and that could potentially be completed by the faculty from their office and then emailed to you.

 What kinds of roles can MCW academic partners play when collaborating with communities?

Academic partner roles will vary according to each individual project and other partners. These are examples of some of the roles that MCW academic partners may assume: help leverage internal resources; participate as technical advisors to the focus area of your project; provide up to date evidence-based education to your community or coalition; gather, analyze and present data; help construct a research model; assist in program design and evaluation; assist with drafting, developing and editing proposals; and develop outcome measurements for your project. It's important to remember that academic partner roles vary and will be unique to each project.

 What national models of successful community-academic partnerships exist?

Past recipients of Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program awards provide great examples of both emerging and established community-medical school partnerships. Project profiles are available for review. You may also wish to contact the partners directly.

On a national level, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), a nonprofit organization that promotes health through partnerships between communities and higher educational institutions, recognizes exemplary partnerships between communities and health professional schools at their annual conference.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 02/19/2014