Joint conference shares work of Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin, Wisconsin Partnership Program
Oct. 24, 2012 College News - Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) and the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) presented their first joint conference, “Leading the Way,” on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Italian Community Center. More than 300 attendees and presenters celebrated the accomplishments and shared lessons learned by past and currently funded projects from the endowment programs at both the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
David Williams, PhD, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, presented a keynote address that raised awareness regarding the social influences that pertain to health and encouraged public health practitioners to address environmental challenges in their health improvement projects.
In addition to Dr. William’s keynote presentation, the conference featured a variety of sessions and poster presentations disseminating the work of more than 70 projects funded by the two medical schools’ endowments. Presenters from AHW projects represented the range of the endowment’s scope, including laboratory research, medical education improvement and efforts to build healthier communities. The conference also provided an opportunity for attendees to provide comments and perspectives regarding both schools’ 2014-2018 Five-Year Plans. Representatives from MCW and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health led a discussion with attendees to gather public input regarding new directions and areas of focus for the next Five-Year Plan. The current plan ends in December 2013.
The AHW and WPP endowments were created in 2004 when Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin became a for-profit corporation. The terms of the conversion directed the transfer of the proceeds from the sale of the company to the Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for public and community health improvement projects. AHW and WPP have since distributed more than $200 million for funded projects and initiatives to improve the health of Wisconsin residents.
The two endowments collaborated on this conference, bringing together health professionals from across the state for an opportunity to share knowledge and resources.
“We were very pleased with the tremendous response of both attendees and funded project involvement in this conference,” said Syed Ahmed, MD, DrPH, FAAFP, Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Director of the Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program. “This conference highlighted the successful implementation of the concept of effective community academic partnerships addressing the health of the population of Wisconsin.”
Proceedings from the conference are available on the Leading the Way web page. To share comments and ideas to inform the development of the 2014-2018 Five-Year Plan visit http://www.mcw.edu/ahw/fiveyearplan.htm.