The Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute provides continuing education, training and technical assistance for community leaders as they work to advance local health improvement agendas. The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health has funded the Leadership Institute since 2005.

The Leadership Institute’s curriculum places special emphasis on collaborative leadership to help communities build partnerships to effectively address the many factors that determine whether every Wisconsin resident has the opportunity to reach his or her full health potential. Overall program goals include:

  • Advance the success of Partnership Program community grantees through tailored technical assistance
  • Build regional community health improvement capacity through two program: Regional Community Teams and COACH: Collaborating, Organizing and Advocating for Community Health
  • Utilize the Leadership Institute’s evaluation for continuous program improvement

Since its formation, the Leadership Institute has provided assistance to a diverse mix of more than 1,500 public and private sector professionals and community residents, encompassing more than 20,000 hours of program delivery. Participants report increased engagement of community leadership; initiation of system, policy and environmental change; expansion of preventive services; increased media coverage; strengthened community coalitions; and increased grant funding.

2014 grant awarded

This five-year renewal grant of $1.2 million builds on the Leadership Institute’s experience and evaluation data suggesting the need for a regional approach to training and technical assistance that also is more responsive to community readiness. Regional programming allows the Leadership Institute to address feedback regarding the need for geographic accessibility and opportunities for common agenda setting and cross-community learning and dissemination.

By creating two tracks for participation in the Community Teams Program (Regional Community Teams and COACH), the Leadership Institute is responding to the different development stages at which communities enter the program. Some will need to focus on building relationships and developing coalition structures, and others will have those partnerships in place and will be ready to implement community health improvement actions.

Principal investigator: Karen Timberlake, JD, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences