Who We Serve

Medical College of Wisconsin 29 Counties Catchment Area

Our services reach 29 counties and 3.4M residents, more than half (58.6%) of Wisconsin’s total population. The MCW Cancer Center is home to a distinct region that includes large and underrepresented populations who experience significant disparities in cancer rates and outcomes.

High rates of cancer among these populations are exacerbated by ingrained social and economic challenges. While 14% of all residents in our area are below the poverty line, the rate is much higher in the city of Milwaukee (29%), and even higher for Hispanics (32%) and African Americans (40%).

Demographic insights

  • 74% of the state’s total racial and ethnic population
  • 85% of the state’s African American population
  • 74% of the state’s Hispanic population
  • 73% of the state’s American Indian or Alaska Native population
  • 30% of the state’s rural population


Community Concerns Impacting Cancer Burden

Community Outreach and Engagement efforts are focused on helping our researchers, clinicians, and community members to better understand and intervene in the social determinants that influence cancer disparities.
  • High rates of obesity and related cancers
  • Hyper-segregation
  • Lack of access to healthcare, insurance
  • Poverty
  • Lack of safe housing, neighborhoods, and green space
  • Food deserts
  • High rates of incarceration
  • High rates of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
  • Low health literacy
  • Exposure to Radon