new landmark study released September 19, 2019 by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) and supported by the Wisconsin Partnership Program, provides a unique set of data, not available elsewhere, that sheds light on how patients experience healthcare — and health disparities — across Wisconsin health systems and medical clinics.

The WCHQ Health Disparities Report was developed in collaboration between WCHQ and the University of Wisconsin Health Innovation Program and co-authored by Maureen Smith, MD, MPH, PhD, director of HIP and Professor, Departments of Population Health Sciences and Family Medicine and Community Health and Matt Gigot, WCHQ director of performance measurement and analysis. The work is supported through a four-year strategic grant from the Partnership Program’s Partnership Education and Research Committee.

The new study identifies where gaps in health outcomes and care exist in Wisconsin. The data is categorized based on race/ethnicity, payer and rural/urban geography. The data was submitted to WCHQ by 25 health systems and medical clinics and it represents the most complete and recent (2018) data available for this work. The report found that some people in Wisconsin are experiencing a wide range of substantial disparities across several measures.

Since its inception, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has been committed to reducing health disparities in Wisconsin. The Partnership Program recognizes that the most effective way to eliminate health disparities is through collaboration among many partners and organizations, including partners across campuses, communities, clinics and health systems as well as many other public and private entities.

Says Richard Moss, PhD, SMPH Senior Associate Dean and Chair of Partnership Education and Research Committee, “This project is an important strategic investment for the Wisconsin Partnership Program and aligns directly with our goal to advance health equity and improve health and well-being in Wisconsin. There isn’t a comparable report available elsewhere and it’s our hope that this will serve as resource that can be used to catalyze efforts to reduce health disparities not only across health systems and within clinical settings, but also to serve as a call to action to policy makers, employers and communities to develop appropriate approaches to addressing these health gaps as well.”