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Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families 2013 Grants Awarded

2013 Collaborative Implementation Grant Awarded


Milwaukee LIHF Collaborative ($1.5 million over five years)


With United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County as the convening agency, the Milwaukee Collaborative of the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families will identify and pursue policy, systems and environmental factors that contribute to the city’s high rates of infant mortality among the African American population. The collaborative also will develop and implement a sustainability plan and work to align the efforts of programs that serve families.


2013 Project Grants Awarded


Implementation Grants (up to $400,000 over three years)


Direct Assistance for Dads (DAD) Project


Through home visitation and one-on-one coaching, this project will provide direct services to fathers and fathers-to-be with the goal of increasing their involvement with their children and their partner, and ultimately to improve family and child health outcomes.

  • Community Partner: Bevan Baker, City of Milwaukee Health Department
  • Academic Partner: Geoffrey Swain, MD, MPH, Family Medicine, SMPH

Healthy Families Kenosha


Based on the Healthy Families America model, this project will expand prenatal and social support services for new mothers and their families in Kenosha, including culturally relevant home visitation services and parenting education, and link families to community resources.

  • Community partner: Ron Rogers, Kenosha County Job Center
  • Academic partner: David Riley, PhD, Human Ecology, UW-Madison

Healthy Parents, Healthy Babies (Healthy Next Babies)


Working with families residing in Milwaukee’s ten poorest zip codes, this initiative aims to improve access to interconception care by emphasizing the role of both parents in developing care plans, accessing existing services and increasing provider collaboration.

  • Community Partner: Jane Pirsig-Anderson, Aurora Health Care, Inc.
  • Academic Partner: Ron Cisler, PhD, Population Health Sciences, SMPH and UW-Milwaukee

No Longer an Island: Creating a Place-based Men’s Peer Outreach and Social Support Network


Based in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood, the initiative seeks to develop a leadership and social support network that will increase engagement among African American fathers and men through peer mentoring and community health navigators.

  • Community Partner: JoAnne Sabir, Walnut Way Corp.
  • Academic Partners: Amy Harley, PhD, Health Sciences, UW-Milwaukee; David Frazer, MPH, Population Health Sciences, SMPH

The Young Parenthood Project:  A Father Engagement Strategy for Healthy Families


This project aims to increase relationship-building skills and self-worth among African American men and their families by providing prenatal and support services for expectant fathers and young couples at risk for stress. 

  • Community Partner: Tito Izard, Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.
  • Academic Partner: Paul Florsheim, PhD, Public Health, UW-Milwaukee
Small Implementation Grants (up to $150,000 over three years)


Bethel AME Church Jobs for Fathers


Bethel Church in Beloit will provide pre-employment training and support for African American fathers age 18 to 30 through “a community circle” and seminars designed to strengthen father involvement with family and secure transitional and family-sustaining jobs.

  • Community Partner: Brenda Atlas, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Academic Partner: Jeffrey Lewis, PhD, UW-Extension

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Centering Program of Racine Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families


Using the nationally recognized evidence-based Centering Pregnancy model, this Racine-based initiative will provide health assessment, education and support by health care professionals in the context of group prenatal care designed to positively impact birth outcomes.

  • Community Partner: Chris Krizek, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints Foundation
  • Academic Partner: Teresa Johnson, PhD, Nursing, UW-Milwaukee

Family Peer Navigation and Home Visit Project


This project will expand home visiting services for pregnant African American women and families in Beloit. A systems navigator and trained peer navigators will improve access to community resources through information, referrals and advocacy.

  • Community Partner: Tammy King, Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin
  • Academic Partner: Sara Busarow, MD, MPH, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Focus on Fathers Initiative


This initiative aims to engage and support noncustodial fathers in developing parenting skills and healthy relationships for co-parenting through home visitation and parent education, ultimately increasing father involvement in the lives of their children.

  • Community Partner: Ahmad Qawi, Young Men’s Christian Association
  • Academic Partners: Noelle Chesley, PhD, Sociology, UW-Milwaukee; Sarah Halpern-Meekin, PhD, Sociology, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


The Healthy Kenosha County Moms & Babies: Centering Prenatal Model Program

Grant discontinued by Oversight and Advisory Committee at grantee's request


Implementation of a Rock County Fetal Infant Mortality Review Team


This project will develop a Fetal Infant Mortality Review to conduct a systematic and multidisciplinary analysis of fetal and infant deaths in Rock County, and identify potential policy and environmental solutions to reduce mortality rates.

  • Community Partner: Janet Zoellner, Rock County Health Department
  • Academic Partner: Sara McKinnon, PhD, UW College of Letters and Science-Communication Arts

Normalizing Breastfeeding: Building Social Support and Community Capacity


This initiative aims to increase breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates by engaging pregnant women, expectant fathers and their families through health promotion, health education and social support programs.

  • Community Partner: Dalvery Blackwell, African American Breastfeeding Network
  • Academic Partner: Michelle Corbett, MPH, UW-Milwaukee and UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Center for Urban Population Health

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


PWNS Birthing Project


Modeled on Birthing Project USA, this project will recruit and train Sister-Friend volunteers in the African American community who mentor, nurture and support pregnant women through pregnancy, birth and infancy of their child.

  • Community partner: Georgann Stinson-Dockery, Professional Women’s Network for Services, Inc.
  • Academic partner: Teresa Johnson, PhD, Nursing, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Reducing African American Infant Birth Disparities Through Decreased Prison Recidivism and Increased Living-Wage Employment of Mothers and Fathers


To address the problems of prison recidivism (repeat offenses) related to family economic stability, this initiative will provide intensive job counseling, case management, job placement and a variety of employment and educational readiness services for targeted families in Racine.

  • Community Partner: Mark Boatwright, Racine Vocational Ministry
  • Academic Partner: Helen Rosenberg, PhD, Criminal Justice, UW-Parkside

Striving to Create Healthier Communities Through Innovative Partnerships


This initiative is focused on improving access to quality prenatal care through the Centering Pregnancy and Birthing Project models as well as engaging fathers during the preconception, prenatal and interconception periods.

  • Community Partner: Lorraine Lathen, Quality of Life Center, Inc.
  • Academic Partner: Mary Jo Baisch, PhD, RN, Nursing, UW-Milwaukee

UNCOM Initiative For Healthy Families


United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM), a collaborative of eight agencies, will develop a drop-in center for families experiencing stress and train all staff on trauma-informed care.

  • Community Partner: Anthony Shields, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee
  • Academic Partner: Mary Jo Baisch, PhD, RN, Nursing, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Development Grants (up to $50,000 over two years)


Beloit Youth Internship (BYIn) Program


This program aims to provide meaningful internship experiences for African American youth in Beloit through mentoring, professional skills training and life coaching that encourages social and economic success during and after high school by putting students on the pathway to employment and/or higher education.

  • Community partner: Latoya Holiday, Pentecostal Tabernacle Church of God in Christ
  • Academic partner: Brian Christens, PhD, Human Ecology, UW-Madison

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Dismantling Racism in Kenosha County


After completing a community assessment, partners will develop an action plan to address racism and health disparities in Kenosha County.

  • Community Partner: Cynthia Johnson, Kenosha County Division of Health
  • Academic Partner: Markus Brauer, PhD, Psychology, UW-Madison

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Engaging African-American Fathers to Reduce Infant Mortality by Improving their Health Literacy


This project will add to the knowledge base of information that is sensitive to cultural and literacy needs of African American fathers, engage and train medical and nursing students to provide these fathers with culturally appropriate and literacy sensitive information and evaluate the effectiveness of communication.

  • Community Partner: Kathleen Pritchard, IMPACT Alcohol & Other Drug Services, Inc.
  • Academic Partners: Kris Barnekow, PhD, Health Sciences, UW-Milwaukee; David Pate, PhD, Social Welfare, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Expecting Moms, Expecting Dads


This initiative will create a father-friendly prenatal care class that uses the evidence-based CenteringPregnancy curriculum and incorporates additional resources including 24/7 Dad and the YMCA’s Pathways to Responsible Fatherhood to help both parents understand the role and importance of a father in a child’s life.  

  • Community Partner: Dawn Groshek, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – St. Joseph Foundation
  • Academic Partner: Emmanuel Ngui, DrPH, Public Health, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Family Connectedness for New & Expectant Mothers


This project will build a referral system for high-risk new and expectant mothers in three Milwaukee neighborhoods and connect them with the mentorship, support and guidance they need to give their baby the best possible start.

  • Community Partner: Christie Guertin, Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin
  • Academic Partner: Mary Jo Baisch, PhD, RN, Nursing, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Kenosha Fatherhood Involvement Planning Project


After completing a community assessment and a review of promising and evidence-based father involvement programs, this partnership will develop a comprehensive Father Involvement model in Kenosha County.

  • Community Partner: Pam Halbach, Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency
  • Academic Partner: David Pate, PhD, Social Welfare, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)


Strong Families Healthy Homes (SFHH) Extension - Pregnancy Pilot Program


This pilot is designed to be a preventive intervention for African America families coping with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. Classes and in-home mentoring will assist expectant parents in understanding how to meet their child’s needs with the goal of decreasing adverse childhood experiences and rates of infant mortality. 

  • Community Partner: Karissa Vogel, Mental Health America of Wisconsin
  • Academic Partner: Alice Yan, MD, PhD, Public Health, UW-Milwaukee

Read the Outcome Report (pdf)

Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families 2013 Grants Awarded

Last updated: 10/05/2016
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