Students in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program spend 24 weeks in their second year and most of their third and fourth years learning and working in a variety of sites focused on serving urban populations.

Some of those sites include Aurora Health Care hospitals and clinics, community health centers, public health agencies and community organizations in Milwaukee.

Students explore the rich history and diversity of Milwaukee's neighborhoods and learn to respectfully engage with communities to promote health. Before beginning the TRIUMPH experience, students identify the population and issues that captivate their interest and are matched with an appropriate community partner to conduct a project that spans the 2½ years they serve in Milwaukee.

Students work with the guidance of faculty mentors and community health leaders to conduct a public health, quality improvement or research project. Students learn about community health assessment, project design, implementation, evaluation and how to join and contribute to a community health team. They present their final projects prior to graduation.

DeMarco Bowen worked with a special-needs nursery for his TRIUMPH project.

TRIUMPH students gain an appreciation of the urban context, health equity work and community resources, enhance their cultural skills, engage with communities and learn to develop and implement community-based health improvement projects.

TRIUMPH course content is delivered through four sequential, interrelated courses primarily spanning phases two and three of medical school (TRIUMPH I-IV; two credits per course for a total of eight credits). These courses introduce students to urban health through seminars, discussions and community and public health activities in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee TRIUMPH schedule

During August of the second year, before beginning clerkships in Milwaukee, students participate in TRIUMPH II, a two-week Community and Public Health Enrichment Experience (CAPHENE), which focuses on the cultural and historical context of Milwaukee, developing community development and team building skills and self-care strategies. This provides an excellent introduction to Milwaukee.

Beginning in January of the second year, students complete a sequence of clinical experiences, including chronic and preventive care, care across the life cycle, surgical and procedural care, and acute care blocks in Milwaukee. The sequence of these blocks will vary (see the example schedule). TRIUMPH students will meet one afternoon every other week to discuss issues of urban health, health equity and advocacy, and progress on their projects in TRIUMPH I. 

TRIUMPH students complete all of their required phase two curriculum in Milwaukee. During phase three, the required Ambulatory Acting Internship and Inpatient Acting Internship are completed in Milwaukee. The Inpatient Acting Internship will take place at either Aurora Sinai Medical Center or Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center.

Students may pursue out-of-Milwaukee rotations and residency interviews for up to 20 weeks during phase three.

Possible clinical electives at Aurora hospitals and clinics include:

  • Acute care
  • Addiction psychiatry
  • Critical care
  • Electrophysiology cardiology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Family medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Gastroenterology
  • Psychiatry
  • Neonatology
  • Radiology
  • Primary care and public health
  • Palliative care

In October of the fourth year, TRIUMPH III, a community health and leadership course that familiarizes students with Milwaukee's medical and public health leaders, provides training in leadership skills and promotes the role of physicians as advocates.

Students complete TRIUMPH IV through meetings every other week concurrent with their clinical training in Milwaukee. Students also continue to work on their projects throughout the fourth year guaranteeing a dynamic, well-rounded and productive fourth year.

TRIUMPH program framework

The Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health program at the School of Medicine and Public Health has many dedicated community partners.

Aurora Health Care has been in partnership with the School of Medicine and Public Health for more than 40 years, providing high quality medical education in Milwaukee's culturally diverse urban environment. The dedicated preceptors are physicians with active practices and UW faculty appointments.

The following community organizations have served as sponsors for TRIUMPH community projects:

Basic needs/community housing

  • Community Advocates
  • Pathfinders, Inc. (Youth Housing Focus)

Citywide health assessment, evaluation and research

  • Center for Urban Population Health (CUPH)
  • City of Milwaukee Health Department

Clinical services connecting with communities

  • AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
  • Aurora Midtown Clinic
  • Aurora UW Medical Group (Sinai)
  • Aurora UW Medical Group (St. Luke's)
  • Bread of Healing Clinic
  • City on a Hill Clinic
  • Diverse & Resilient
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Salvation Army
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
  • United Community Center
  • Walker's Point

Crime prevention/diversion programs/survivor support

  • Concordia University (Partnering with Milwaukee Courts and JusticePoint)
  • Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission
  • Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • WAVE
  • WISDOM

Elder services

  • Aurora Palliative Care Department
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
  • Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services
  • United Community Center

Food justice/urban ecology

  • Fondy Foods
  • Growing Power
  • Milwaukee Center for Independence
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • Walnut Way

Health professional pipeline programs

  • Lead2Change
  • Milwaukee AHEC

Mental health

  • Aurora Family Service
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers

Women's health

  • Milwaukee County Breastfeeding Coalition
  • Southeast Asian Educational Development
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
  • WI WISEWOMAN

Youth services

  • Aurora School-Based Health
  • Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin
  • Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative
  • Children’s Outing Association
  • Future Urban Leaders
  • Lead2Change
  • Milwaukee Academy of Science
  • Next Door
  • North Division High School
  • Penfield Children’s Center
  • SaintA