Wisconsin Partnership Funds Alzheimer's, Alcohol Abuse and Maternity Care
Madison, Wisconsin - The Wisconsin Partnership Program of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health recently awarded Collaborative Health Science grants totaling nearly $800,000 to address Wisconsin public health concerns.
The faculty-led projects include the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, better care for at-risk pregnant women and training health educators to screen for alcohol abuse and other health risks.
Furthering Alzheimer's Research
Dr. Sterling Johnson, an Alzheimer's disease expert and associate professor of medicine, received a grant of $299,539 from the Wisconsin Partnership Program Education and Research Committee (PERC) to further his research in multi-modal machine learning methods to better identify Alzheimer's Disease at different stages.
Johnson will study how data from multiple biomarkers can best be combined to predict future cognitive decline. Johnson hopes to be able to identify people who have Alzheimer's or may develop the disease in the future.
Improving Birth Outcomes
Dr. Jonathan Jaffery, also an associate professor of medicine, received $199,541 from PERC to evaluate whether "medical homes" for high-risk pregnant women actually improve birth outcomes. Dr. Jaffery will evaluate a pilot program, launched by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), which enrolls high-risk pregnant women in southeast Wisconsin into medical homes.
These "homes" create a one-stop system to coordinate care for the medical and psychosocial needs of patients and encourage patients and families to be active participants in their health. Southeast Wisconsin cities currently have high infant mortality rates for African-American babies, a focus of a broader Wisconsin Partnership initiative.
Screening and Intervention
Dr. Richard Brown, professor of family medicine, received $300,000 from PERC toward a project which will develop a workforce of baccalaureate-level health educators to systematically administer evidence-based, cost-saving behavioral screening and intervention services - including tobacco, alcohol, and depression screening - in health care settings in Wisconsin.
The project's goal is that all health care settings will deliver preventive services to address the common behavioral risks and conditions that account for over 40 percent of deaths and 75 percent of chronic disease in the United States. Dr. Brown will work with co-principal investigator Dr. Gary Gilmore, professor and director of Graduate Community Health and Public Health Programs at UW-La Crosse.
About the Wisconsin Partnership Program
The Wisconsin Partnership project represents a far-reaching commitment by UW School of Medicine and Public Health to improve the health and well-being of Wisconsin residents through investments in research, education, prevention practices and interventions, and policy development.
Its Collaborative Health Sciences Program (CHSP) is a competitive program for faculty which emphasizes the development of collaboration across the boundaries of basic, clinical, and population health sciences. The goal is to support novel ideas and approaches to research and education benefiting the health of the people of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Partnership Program was made possible by funds resulting from Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin's conversion to a for-profit corporation.
Date Published: 10/04/2011