Since its inception, the Wisconsin Partnership Program has supported work with the primary purpose of reducing health disparities. A shift in research and evidence has now brought a greater understanding that within health, there are disparities between groups based on where people live, the color of their skin and other demographic characteristics.

We recognize that achieving health does not simply mean not being sick. Health is impacted by the absence of disease, but also by being well nourished and sheltered, by having access to a good education and employment opportunities, access to high-quality health care and a thriving community. We must address health disparities and advance health equity in order to positively affect health in Wisconsin.

Watch our partners champion health equity

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is pleased to share video series that highlights the work of local communities and organizations across Wisconsin working to achieve health equity. These videos highlight the roles community members, organizations, local government, and healthcare systems can play in providing new perspectives, giving voice to community challenges, identifying solutions and leading health equity improvements across our state.

Southwestern Recovery Pathways Program

The Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP), an anti-poverty agency that works with the five-county region of Grant, Green, Iowa, LaFayette and Richland counties, has created the Southwestern Recovery Pathways program. The program is piloting an innovative model of community-based opioid use treatment and recovery in rural Wisconsin. The project’s goal is to build a sustainable and replicable model of coordinated access to a range of medical, physical, emotional, social and economic wraparound services for people in recovery. At the center of the program, sober-living housing aids those in recovery by providing an environment removed from negative influences and triggers. SWCAP opened its first Recovery House in Dodgeville in 2019.

Black Men’s Wellness Sustainable Initiative

Through the Black Men’s Wellness Sustainable Initiative, Aaron Perry is changing how his community perceives and experiences health. His innovative approach includes Black Men Run, Brown Boys Read and expanding a health center — which resides inside a barbershop — to other barbershops in Dane County. His ultimate goal is to build a culture of wellness and support so Dane County becomes a place where African American males thrive.

Promotoras de Salud — Community Health Workers

The Latino community is the fastest growing community in Wisconsin, but for new Latina mothers, there are striking health gaps in maternal well-being. New moms report feelings of depression, stress, isolation and lack of support. The Latino-led organization, Centro Hispano is a vital hub for community partnerships and cultural connections. The organization is using an innovative community-based program that trains Promotoras de Salud — Community Health Workers — to address and reduce the health disparities affecting post-partum Latina moms. 

Reimaging Criminal Justice to Improve Health for Wisconsin’s Families and Communities

EXPO – EX-Incarcerated People Organizing is using a Community Impact Grant to improve public health by addressing some of the barriers to health that are systemic in the criminal justice system. The project is led by formerly incarcerated individuals, educating and informing different audiences and stakeholders about the public health impact of incarceration. This project hopes to inform future policies and laws to improve both the criminal justice system and the health of communities across our state.

Legacy Community Alliance for Health

The Legacy Community Alliance for Health project aims to improve health and health equity at the community level by implementing Health in All Policies. This approach weaves health and health equity considerations into conversations and discussions about future policies and programs, leading to long-term health gains. Appleton, Wisconsin has adopted a Health in All Policies ordinance and is currently looking at its transportation and built environment plans through a health equity lens.

Measuring and Addressing Disparities in the Quality of Care Among Wisconsin Health Systems

An innovative research project, Measuring and Addressing Disparities in the Quality of Care Among Wisconsin Health Systems, aims to benefit Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens by raising the visibility of quality of care disparities within health systems. The project will measure disparities in the quality of care for most health systems in Wisconsin, with the ultimate goal of publicly reporting the systems’ performance on a selected disparity measure and creating the motivation necessary to undertake targeted improvements that directly address these disparities, and improve care for our state’s most vulnerable patients.