The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health comprises campuses, programs, faculty and staff across Wisconsin.

For over 40 years, it has provided Wisconsin with quality clinical care, top-notch medical student and resident education, and cutting-edge research.

The department is one of the oldest family medicine departments in the nation, with origins dating back to 1970, when family medicine was first designated as a medical specialty. With approximately 200 faculty and over 1,000 employees, plus an annual budget of approximately $110 million, it is one of the largest.

It is deeply committed to improving the health of the people of Wisconsin and the nation, a goal fundamentally linked to the mission of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. By working in partnership with physicians, teachers, communities, and hospitals, they provide Wisconsin families with local, accessible health care every day.

With $7.5 million in funding in 2016, the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health has one of the largest, most dynamic research programs in the country. It is consistently a top-10 family medicine department according to U.S. News and World Report’s nationwide rankings.

Investigators have received national recognition for innovative research and intervention projects in areas such as:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Complementary/integrative medicine
  • Nutrition and childhood obesity prevention

Clean air/smoke free collaboration project

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed a policy that would require all public housing agencies (PHAs) to implement a smoke-free policy. In lieu of this proposal and the known public health benefits of smoke-free housing, Madison’s Community Development Authority (CDA) has passed a smoke-free policy for all public housing properties.

Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) partnered with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health to create and implement a smoking cessation program to aid residents of these public housing units in preparing for this transition. The combination of appropriate medications and motivational interviewing is shown to be the most effective way to provide smoking cessation care.

The vision of this project is to provide resources and physician support in the form of medication management, as well as group counseling visits at the public housing properties. The partnership currently includes the UW Department of Family Medicine and the Madison/Dane County Public Health Department.

  • Project activities include: assistance with gathering data on the effectiveness of tobacco cessation groups (surveys and follow up phone calls).
  • Physician faculty: Divneet Kaur, MD

ORCHARDS (ORegon CHild Absenteeism due to Respiratory Disease Study)

The primary goal of this project is to create and evaluate an influenza surveillance system using cause-specific school absenteeism rates. The proposed system will bring together low-cost, low-complexity rapid influenza testing of students absent due to an acute respiratory illness, molecular confirmation of the rapid test, and comparison of the system with multiple established, well-functioning and concentric influenza surveillance systems. Should this system be found timely, sensitive and specific for influenza outbreaks in a community, it could be easily translated to other school districts and settings.

Office of Community Health

The Office of Community Health promotes and enhances community health-related efforts in education, research and clinical services within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. This field work position will work with the co-directors of the Office of Community Health in ongoing departmental asset-mapping including existing community health projects, resources, and partnerships throughout the statewide Department of Family Medicine and Community Health with key constituencies including communities, patients, department faculty and staff, and academic and health system partners.

Key activities of student involvement include:

  • Work with partner organizations in ongoing initiative to develop a shared database and communication platform available to key constituencies
  • Participate in performing a gap analysis to identify skill-building, training, and competency needs related to community health
  • Develop social determinant of health fact sheets and community/population health resource lists for eight key health conditions