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Family & Community Medicine professor, veteran health advocate, Wausau medical student and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation researcher earn Medical College of Wisconsin President’s Community Engagement Award

Milwaukee, June 22, 2018 – Dedicated to improving the health of local communities, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) presents annually the President's Community Engagement Award. This honor recognizes the exemplary community-academic partnership, community-engaged research or community outreach activities of a MCW faculty member, staff member, student and community partner.

MCW held the President's Community Engagement Award Luncheon as part of the MCW Office of Community Engagement's Spring Conference last month. The ceremony was led by MCW President and CEO John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, and Associate Provost and Senior Associate Dean for Community Engagement, Dr. Syed M. Ahmed, MD, MPH, DrPH, who recognized the awardees for their accomplishments. Awardees also received a plaque and $2,000 monetary award.

DavidNelsonDavid Nelson, PhD, MS, associate professor of family and community medicine, was recognized for his leadership of many MCW community-engaged research efforts, collaborations and organizations that have translated to positive health outcomes for underserved populations in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. Most of Dr. Nelson's work involves physical activity, nutrition, food security and promoting health and housing for Milwaukee's homeless. For example, he is co-founder of StreetLife Communities, an organization that provides food, clothing and other support to those in need, many of whom are homeless. Dr. Nelson leads the Physical Activity and Nutrition Core Area in MCW's Department of Family and Community Medicine, initiating local and state-wide coalitions and influencing policy and systems change to make children healthier. He also serves as Board President of Frieden's community food pantries and has been a leader and mentor within the organization since 2014.

MarkFlowerCommunity partner Mark Flower was recognized for his work advocating for veteran health. Flower is president of the Board of Directors of Grassroots Empowerment Project and a key partner of the Dryhootch Partnership for Veteran Health, a peer mentorship program in Milwaukee that promotes mental health. A veteran himself, Flower has supported many research efforts with MCW and the VA and is involved in several other local initiatives and organizations, including the Prevent Suicide Wisconsin Steering Committee and Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Steering Committee. He has been called on by the State of Wisconsin, County of Milwaukee and other regional governing bodies to provide expert testimony on the experience of U.S. military veterans seeking healthcare and social services, gaps in these services and ways these services can be transformed to address the particular physical and mental health needs of this population.

ChristopherZemanMCW-Central Wisconsin second-year medical student Christopher Zeman earned the award for his leadership in bringing the Joseph Project to Wausau. A program that removes the barriers to acquiring jobs by providing transportation and training, the Joseph Project offers much needed opportunities to chronically unemployed individuals. Zeman also serves as a student representative of the Healthy Marathon County Board and as the MCW Class Student Assembly Representative for the inaugural MCW-Central Wisconsin class. Last year, he received the MCW-Central Wisconsin Outstanding Leadership Award. Zeman was inspired to pursue a career in medicine when his daughter was born with an intestinal birth defect and he witnessed her physicians' skills and compassionate care at work. Before medical school, he served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq.

MoriahIversonMoriah A. Iverson, MS, program manager for Research and Community Engagement in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MCW, was recognized for her leadership of several community partnerships and programs. Iverson co-led the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports and Recreation Expo, engaging more than 30 community partners and hundreds of participants. She also led the formation of the Community Academic Advisory Board for the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, a collaborative research program between MCW, Marquette University and other community partners, as well as stroke survivors and their family members and caregivers, to optimize clinical translational research and stroke education. Since she began at MCW in 2005, Iverson has worked to improve health care in under-resourced communities and those impacted by disability.

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