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 Metro Region 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 and project.

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 over phases two and three of medical school (TRIUMPH I-IV; two credits per course). 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, 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 Care Across the Life Cycle, chronic and preventive care, acute care and surgical and procedural care blocks in Milwaukee. The sequence of these blocks will vary (see example below). TRIUMPH students will meet one afternoon each week to discuss issues of urban health and progress on their projects in TRIUMPH I.

TRIUMPH students complete most of their third year requirements and electives in Milwaukee. The required acting internships are offered in in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women's Health or another specialty of the student's choice. Students may take the acting internship at either Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center or at UW-Madison.

Students may pursue out of town rotations and residency interviews for up to four months of the fourth year.

Possible fourth-year electives at Aurora hospitals and clinics include:

  • Acute care
  • Addiction psychiatry
  • Anesthesiology
  • Critical care
  • Emergency medicine
  • Electrophysiology cardiology
  • Geriatrics
  • Gastroenterology
  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics sub-internship
  • Neonatology
  • Radiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Family medicine
  • 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 resources, provides insight and training in leadership skills.

Students complete TRIUMPH IV through meetings every other week concurrent with their clinical 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 nearly 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. Aurora also provides housing near the hospitals and with easy access to the vibrant social and cultural scene in Milwaukee.

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

  • Aurora Health Care
  • Aurora Family Service
  • Aurora UW Medical Group
  • Bread of Healing Clinic
  • Center for Urban Population Health
  • Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin
  • City of Milwaukee Health Department
  • Community Advocates
  • Diverse and Resilient
  • Fondy Food Center
  • Growing Power
  • Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families
  • Milwaukee Academy of Science
  • Milwaukee Area Health Education Center
  • Milwaukee County Breast Feeding Coalition
  • Milwaukee Center for Independence
  • Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.
  • Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission
  • Milwaukee Public Schools/Aurora School-based Health
  • Next Door
  • North Division High School
  • Pathfinder's Milwaukee Inc.
  • Penfield Children's Center
  • Rufus King High School
  • Sixteenth Street Community Health Center
  • Sojourner Family Peace CenterSoutheast Asian Educational Development Inc.
  • Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services
  • United Community Center
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
  • Walker's Point Community Clinic/Core El Centro
  • Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort
  • Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
  • Wisconsin WISEWOMAN

The Milwaukee Area Health Education Center serves as a link between TRIUMPH and the Milwaukee community.

TRIUMPH, like the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, is a program within the school, designed to address the health needs of Wisconsin and beyond. Both programs embody the Wisconsin Idea for the 21st century: to share and apply advances in knowledge for the common good in collaboration with the state, its many constituents and communities and its partners around the world.

Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health, established in 2008, is led and coordinated by an enthusiastic team of UW School of Medicine and Public Health faculty and staff located in Madison and Milwaukee. The program is an important component of our transformation into a school of medicine and public health.