Students Classroom

About the Office of Community Engagement

The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) is dedicated to improving the health of communities of Wisconsin and beyond by advancing the art and science of community engagement. Community engagement, one of the four missions at the MCW, is richly embedded in office programs and throughout MCW centers, institutes, and departments. The office is also dedicated to leadership and excellence through community engagement, and partners with community organizations to enhance learning, research, patient care, and the health of the community. With strong support from Staci Young, PhD, interim senior associate dean for community engagement, the Office of Community Engagement provides a variety of resources to both academic and community partners to advance community engagement at MCW.
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.
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 the Medical College of Wisconsin and the community, and effectively disseminate
Meet the Team

Zeno Franco, PhD, Associate Professor, Family & Community Medicine
Bryan Johnston, MD, Assistant Professor, Family & Community Medicine
David Nelson, PhD, MS, Professor, Family & Community Medicine
Leslie Ruffalo, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Family & Community Medicine
Staci Young, PhD, Professor, Family & Community Medicine
Interim Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement

Kristine Burke, MPH, MSW, Program Coordinator, Community Engagement
Yesica Desarden, Program Coordinator, Community Engagement
Kelsey Heindel, Program Coordinator, Community Engagement
Jai Lor, Administrative Associate, Community Engagement
Sarah O'Connor, MS, Program Manager, Community Engagement

learn more about our work

Meet Our Faculty


Zeno Franco, PhD

Associate Professor


Bryan Johnston, MD

Assistant Professor


David Nelson, PhD



Leslie Ruffalo, PhD

Advisor, Family Medicine Learning Community & Family Medicine Student Association; Course Director, Promoting Health in Underserved Communities & Continuous Professional Development; M3 Family Medicine Clerkship: Community Health Instructor


Staci A. Young, PhD

Member, Community & Institutional Engagement Pillar, Kern Institute

Connect with Us

There's more than one way to connect with us - join our email list for program news and event updates, or keep up with us on our socials!