AHW Cross-Cutting Component

Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Cross Cutting Component

As part of a significant commitment to improve the health of Wisconsin, the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment is developing its Cross-Cutting changemaker component.

The Consortium worked with the Research and Education Advisory Committee (REAC) to develop the Cross-Cutting framework, priorities, and funding commitment. What, they asked, if we found a way to bring together community knowledge, research and education innovations to leverage those discrete areas of expertise in the place where they intersect?

A cross-cutting approach would:

  • Invest in initiatives that integrate research, education, and community health
  • Invest up to $20 million over 8 years
  • Demonstrate measurable advances in reducing cancer disparities

AHW’s Cross-Cutting Initiative creates an innovative framework for understanding cancer disparities through the intersection of community, education, and research. This structure challenges each discipline to collaborate and reimagine at a cross-disciplinary level what is needed to reduce cancer disparities.

Although there have been significant advances in the prevention and treatment of cancer, evidence shows persistent differences in cancer incidence and survivability across Wisconsin depending on socioeconomic status, geography, race, ethnicity, and other factors.

Disparities in cancer incidence and mortality persist because solutions require addressing multiple complex root causes, including biological, behavioral, environmental, social and systemic factors. AHW recognizes that reducing cancer disparities will require a multi-disciplinary, multi-sector approach. 

Early 2017, AHW launched a dedicated leadership team comprised of faculty and community representatives to support an 18-month Cross-Cutting development phase. The development phase focuses on three key areas: partnership cultivation, knowledge development, and establishment of learning collaboration laboratories (collaboratories). We expect that the development phase will result in the specific implementation strategies for the reduction of cancer disparities in communities in Wisconsin disproportionately affected by breast and lung cancer.

To learn more about AHW’s Cross-Cutting Initiative and its investment in reducing cancer disparities, contact Senior Program Officer for the Cross-Cutting initiative, Tobi Cawthra, MPH (tcawthra@mcw.edu).