Welcome from Syed M. Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH

Syed M. Ahmed, MDThe Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence through Community Engagement and the partnering with public and private organizations to enhance learning, research, patient care and the health of the community.

The Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement is dedicated to improve the health of communities of Wisconsin and beyond by advancing art and science of community engagement and make the Medical College of Wisconsin a national leader in improving the health of the public.

The office provides an overview of Community Engagement definitions, focus and strategy for the Medical College of Wisconsin to further the Community Engagement Mission of Medical College of Wisconsin. Community Engagement is one of the four missions of the Medical College of Wisconsin and is richly imbedded in our programs.

Guiding Principles

  • Develop reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnership with communities of Wisconsin
  • Use bi-directional dialogue in having defined community programs and scope
  • Have strong community-academic partnerships with equitable power and responsibilities
  • Build capacity within Medical College of Wisconsin and the community, and effectively disseminate plan

As Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Dr. Ahmed provides leadership in improving the health of the communities served by Medical College of Wisconsin through community partnerships and integration across the school’s four missions of research, education, patient care and community engagement.

Dr. Ahmed has made nationally and internationally recognized contributions to the field of community health, community-academic partnerships, community-based participatory research, and community engaged research.

Office Updates, Events & News 

About the Milwaukee PROMPT Project

Military veterans can experience high levels of chronic pain due to their military service, and are at risk of developing addiction from the opiates used to treat their pain. Nationwide, opioid addiction and misuse is becoming an epidemic. The Milwaukee VA Medical Center, Medical College of Wisconsin and other partners are working aggressively to help reduce opioid misuse. Through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Award, an interdisciplinary team of faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is working with community partners, Dryhootch of America and Mental Health America of Wisconsin, to prevent opioid use disorder (OUD) among U.S. military veterans.

In the context of opioid misuse, strategies to control pain and strategies to treat trauma have developed within silos. Despite calls to incorporate trauma assessment and intervention into pain treatment, the two approaches have rarely been combined as part of a comprehensive, community-based prevention and intervention effort. This lack of integration constitutes a missed opportunity to fully address the psychological, social and physical aspects of pain experienced by veterans.

Using a community-engaged research (CEnR) approach, Milwaukee Prevention of Opioid Misuse through Peer Training (PROMPT) integrates chronic pain treatment and trauma-informed care with input from local military veterans to develop innovative ways of addressing OUD. CEnR emphasizes community stakeholder involvement in all phases of the research including project/concept development, data collection and interpretation and dissemination of the results.

The team plans to merge focus group input from veterans with clinicians’ expertise to collaboratively develop an OUD prevention curriculum. The curriculum—delivered by peer mentor specialists at Dryhootch—will consist of targeted modules and will incorporate Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) strategies. Mental Health America Wisconsin (MHA) will support the peer mentors working with veterans by providing supervision, consultation, training, and program and curriculum development.

Read more about this cross-disciplinary team as they lead out community toward a culture of health

Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service AAMC

The Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service is presented annually to a U.S. AAMC-member medical school or teaching hospital with a long-standing, major institutional commitment to partnering with the community it serves to identify and address community needs. MCW was recognized as a top institution in Community Engagement and Community Service as a Finalist for the Spencer Foreman Award (each year there are two Finalists recognized along with the recipient). This award is one of the most prestigious given by the AAMC and MCW is the only medical school to have been recognized among the top three institutions for the Spencer Foreman Award more than once in the past 11 years; MCW was the recipient of the inaugural SF Award in 2006.

Read more about the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service


Carnegie Foundation Awards

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Read a Message from Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement regarding Carnegie Foundation Awards

Give us your feedback!

The Office of Community Engagement has launched the Community Engagement Learning Repository (CELR), a library of products from community engaged (CEnR) projects and research.  This site is currently in beta version, so please, give us your feedback on your experience!

Learn more about the CELR  

Contact Us

Medical College of Wisconsin
Office of Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement
Oakwood Center, Suite 2400
10361 Innovation Dr.
P.O. Box 26509
Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 955-4437
Maps & Directions