Mother Child W Physician

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Patient Care Special Programs

Emergency Services at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Poison Center

Medical Director: David Gummin, MD Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine
Associate Medical Director: Mark Kostic, MD Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Emergency Medicine

Designated the State of Wisconsin's Poison Center June, 2001, this center provides comprehensive toxicology consultation for all Wisconsin residents and health care facilities. Annual call volume exceeds 53,000 calls per year. The WI Poison Center holds the state's most comprehensive database on poisonings, their interventions, and their outcomes. The WI Poison Center earned national certification by the American Association of Poison Control Centers in 2003. The WI Poison Center also provides statewide education and outreach for poisoning prevention, as well as professional education in toxicology management. The medical toxicology consultation service provides bedside consultation to patients at CHW and Froedtert Hospital, as well as telephone based consultation with providers from around the state. State, Federal, and private grants, along with many of the state’s hospitals, help support the program.

Project UJIMA - "Working Together to Make Things Right"

Medical Director: Marlene D. Melzer-Lange, MD

"UJIMA" means working together to make things right. It is one of the themes of Kwanza, an African-American celebration.

Project UJIMA is a collaborative program that tries to stop violent behavior patterns and reduce the number of children hurt by violence. Team members support victims of violence throughout their recovery at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, at their homes, and in their communities. Collaborative members include: Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Family Service of Milwaukee, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Project UJIMA's Inspiration

In 1988, when he was nine years old, a Milwaukee boy was treated in the Children's Hospital Emergency Department for and "accidental" injury. Two years later, he was treated for multiple contusions and abrasions resulting from an assault. In 1992, at 13 years of age, he was treated for multiple stab wounds. Then, in early 1994, this 15 year old boy was treated for a bullet wound in his leg. By the end of that year, he was dead - shot in the chest and killed at the age of 16. While his physical wounds were expertly cared for each time, not once was the disease of violence treated - even as it occurred over and over. Although he and his family will never know it, this young man's story is the inspiration for Project UJIMA.


Project UJIMA has been recognized by the Association for the Care of Children in Hospitals (ACCH) with an Award for Innovation. Federal funding was obtained through a grant from Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC). State funding also has been received from the Victim of Crime Assistance (VOCA) committee of the Department of Justice. In accordance with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force, Project UJIMA has established a unique model of care containing the core elements essential to reducing the consequences of youth violence. Project UJIMA has been cited as a "Program Strength", by the Level I Trauma Center reviewers from the American College of Surgeons during their certification of the trauma center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Project UJIMA's youth leadership and violence prevention activities are supported with a generous donation from the Allstate Foundation. Allstate agents provide volunteer support to the program.

Project UJIMA – The Program

Crisis Response and Immediate Support - Project UJIMA support begins when Children's Hospital EDTC staff treat a child injured by violence and refer him or her to the Project. The program serves youth age 7 to 18 years. A community liaison, a social worker from Children's Hospital, and a volunteer peer counselor offer support and care for these children and their families throughout their medical treatment. Volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 25 with an interest or background in social work. The team works with the family to identify their needs and suggest follow-up care.

Follow-up Services

Follow-up services are provided by a community liaison, a peer liaison, and a counselor from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department of Psychology. Nurses are also involved when possible. In the family's home, the team meets to evaluate the needs of family members and to develop a plan for ongoing services. After an initial home visit, a variety of services may be provided including: health care, counseling, connections to community programs, and legal and professional support. Monthly youth development meetings are held with the youth leading these meetings. Mental health support and team-building activities are held during these meetings.

Health Care

  1. Injury monitoring - the public health nurse checks the child's injuries and coordinates future health care by helping the family make and follow through with their medical appointments.
  2. Health assessment - all family members are assessed for health problems and immunizations.
  3. Referrals to clinics or other health care resources - families without a doctor or insurance are connected with health care.


  1. Post traumatic stress screening and education - staff members help children and families recognize the emotional effects of a violent injury and learn how to cope.
  2. Home-based individual and family counseling - therapists help children and families develop skills to deal with post traumatic stress and emotions in a positive way.
  3. Family Support Groups are held monthly to help families cope with their child's violent injury and the aftermath. Mental health support is present at these meetings to facilitate discussion and provide insight.

Connections to Community Programs

  1. School and educational support - community liaisons work with children, their families, and teachers to improve attendance at school and encourage academic success.
  2. Community-based youth and family program connections - children are linked to agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.
  3. Youth development activities - staff members help children develop through recreational activities, exposure to the arts and literature, group outings, and other activities that broaden their world.

Legal and Professional Support

  1. Legal referrals - staff members refer children and their families to programs that assist them with legal issues. Families receive help in completing Victims Compensation Fund applications. They also can be referred to programs that provide housing, food, and energy.
  2. Job readiness and referrals - staff members help youths prepare resumes, develop interviewing skills, and identify job opportunities.

Contact Information

Project UJIMA is the first violence prevention program of its kind in the country. Project UJIMA leaders are available to talk with others interested in starting similar programs in their communities. If you are interested in obtaining more information about Project UJIMA or would like to become involved with Project UJIMA.

Marlene D. Melzer-Lange, MD

Project UJIMA - Medical Director and Professor of Pediatrics

Pediatric Emergency Medicine - MS 677
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
9000 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 266-2647

Project Ujima Office

(414) 266-2557