While taking care of the patients under its roof is paramount, American Family Children’s Hospital is committed to the vision of child health advocacy — enhancing the health and well-being of Wisconsin’s children.

Our child health advocacy mission is to advance policy, systems and environmental change to address disparities and measurably improve health outcomes for children and families in Wisconsin.

Principles of practice that define American Family Children's Hospital's work:

  • Clinical care is only 20 percent of overall health; prevention is more important now than ever.
  • Collective impact and community partnerships are imperative.
  • Opportunities will be created for family and community engagement.
  • Data will be used to continuously learn, adapt, and improve.
  • Social determinants of health will be understood and addressed.
  • Initiatives will be designed and implemented with a priority on equity.
  • Policy will be used as a strategy to improve population health.
  • The hospital's work will be effectively evaluated.
  • Local, statewide and national leadership roles will be maintained.

Noteworthy activities include:

  • Mentoring professional students
  • Service and leadership to state, regional and national groups
  • Professional development and presentations
  • Legislative advocacy

Madison-area community health impact initiatives

Injury prevention

  • Safe Kids Coalition: Community-based, multifaceted approach focusing on preventing unintentional injuries to children 18 and under due to motor vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle crashes; drowning; fires and burns; poisonings; choking and suffocation; and falls
  • Kohl’s Safety Center: Provides families with expert technical advice/education, service delivery and safety device distribution
  • Safety Town: Summer camp program designed for children entering kindergarten that uses hands-on activities-taught in a small-scale city with streets, homes and sidewalk to teach injury prevention
  • Child Protection Program: Collaborate with community partners in the prevention of child abuse and neglect

Obesity prevention

  • Healthy Kids Collaborative: The Healthy Kids Collaborative connects health champions to create a Dane County where every child, from every neighborhood, can be healthy. With over 250 participating partners, the collaborative works with early childcare centers, schools, neighborhoods and organizations to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity for children in Dane County. Opportunities for projects exist in each of the collaborative's priority project areas: healthy food access, Safe Routes to School and Community, and Healthy Kids Healthy Schools.

Other advocacy and health partnerships

  • HungerCare Coalition
  • Healthy Learner Collaborative of Wisconsin (school nurses)
  • Transgender Youth Resource Network
  • Reach Out and Read and American Family Children's Hospital Early Literacy Program
  • Asthma Outreach
  • healthTide

Ideal student qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with a diverse range of groups, professionals, agencies, community members, parents and health care providers
  • Strong writing and speaking skills and initiative to learn about a topic area when provided direction
  • Experience with literature searches, compiling available data on a topic and determining best practices in prevention