Wisconsin Partnership Program: Announces $1.5 million in new maternal and child health awards

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is pleased to announce 10 new projects selected for funding through its Maternal and Child Healthgrant program.

            The awards of up to $150,000 each over two years provide support for community organizations to expand capacity and strengthen their strategies and approaches for improving maternal and child health outcomes.

            This year’s awards support innovative community-led solutions to address the health needs of diverse populations across Wisconsin. The projects support rural, urban, immigrant, and Native mothers through targeted home visiting programs, community health worker and doula services, and expanded partnerships with health care delivery professionals and clinics based in communities.    

            “This year’s awards reach broadly across the state to support trusted community partners and their vital work to ensure that more mothers experience healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes,” said Amy Kind, MD, PhD, associate dean for social health sciences and programs at UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and executive director, Wisconsin Partnership Program. “Solving the health challenges that are contributing to the persistent poor health outcomes experienced by Wisconsin’s mothers and infants requires multiple focused solutions and partnerships. We look forward to supporting these projects over the next two years.”

            Grant recipients and projects:

  • Barron County for Improving Maternal Health for the Somali Community (Barron County); this project will develop a culturally appropriate approach to sharing health information from trusted messengers to improve maternal and infant health in the county’s Somali community.
  • Center for Special Children, Vernon Memorial Healthcare La Farge Clinic for Support for Mothers and Infants from the Amish and Mennonite (Plain) Communities (Vernon County); the goal of this project is to build capacity to address the growing need to support genetic testing and newborn screening among the Plain communities.
  • Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin for Marathon County Start Right (Marathon County); this project will expand a home visiting program with a bilingual Spanish-speaking home visitor to reach and serve more bilingual families, including those residing in rural Marathon County.
  • Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin for Milwaukee Start Right (Milwaukee); this project will establish home visiting services for pregnant or parenting women of color to address the significant disparities facing Black families in Milwaukee.
  • Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin Inc for Door County Welcome Baby Continuum Project (Door County); this project will use family resource and support specialists to promote infant health and safety, and address parental mental and physical health, family needs and risk factors that contribute to abuse and neglect in Door County.
  • Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center for the Native Parent Connection Program (Milwaukee); this project will strengthen collaborations to address the needs of Native parents and families, or expectant parents through home visiting, breastfeeding supports, validated mental health screening tools, and parenting programs.
  • Great Rivers United Way for Improving Maternal and Child Health Outcomes through Great Rivers HUB and Community Health Worker/Doula Workforce Expansion (La Crosse County); this project will expand a community health worker/doula program to reduce the low birthweight and other poor health outcomes by addressing social determinants of health and supporting prenatal care.
  • Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) for Jardin de Espacios (Garden of Spaces): Designing Well-Being During the Perinatal Journey (Madison/Dane County); PHMDC will collaborate with Roots4Change Cooperative to develop culturally appropriate educational and perinatal services for Latino and Indigenous families.
  • St. Croix Regional Medical Center for Development of an OB Nurse Navigator Program in a Rural Critical Access Hospital (St. Croix and surrounding counties); this project will create a comprehensive program to address patients’ prenatal and postpartum needs and provide social supports and resources for underserved families in this six-county rural area.
  • Wood County Health Department for Improving Health Outcomes for Families: Evidence-based Home Visiting (Wood County); this project will implement Parents as Teachers (PAT), a comprehensive, evidence-based home visiting model to increase parent knowledge, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase school readiness and success.

            Learn more about previous projects supported through the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s Maternal and Child Health grant program.

            The Wisconsin Partnership Program is a grantmaking program within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health established as the result of a generous endowment gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (BCBS). WPP is committed to improving health and advancing health equity through investments in community partnerships, education, and research. WPP has awarded more than $282.5million in 601 grants that propel medical research, enhance health education and workforce development, support community health partnerships, advance health equity, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.