Wisconsin Partnership Program recognized as outstanding community partner by Marshfield Clinic Health System

January 26, 2023

The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health was recently recognized by Marshfield Clinic Health System as one of its 2022 Outstanding Partners in Community Health. The awards were announced on January 20, 2023.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations who have worked closely with the health system’s Center for Community Health Advancement to address the most pressing community health needs within the system’s service area.

In 2018, with grant funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program for the initiative Connecting Clinics, Campuses, and Communities to Advance Health Equity, Marshfield Clinic Health System launched the Community Connections Team to improve health outcomes by helping individuals address unmet social needs and underlying factors that contribute to poor health outcomes.

Megan Miller, Dr. Amy Kind, Darcy Vanden Elzen, Tonya Mathison
Pictured left to right: Megan Miller, WPP Administrative Director; Dr. Amy Kind, WPP Executive Director; Darcy Vanden Elzen, Director of Community Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System; Tonya Mathison, WPP Operations Associate Director

“The Wisconsin Partnership Program is a foundational partner in the development and support of the Community Connections Team project, a hallmark Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity Program for the Center for Community Health Advancement,” said Darcy Vanden Elzen, director of community health for the health system. “The program, which helps individuals improve their health and quality of life by connecting them with local resources to meet their needs, would not exist without the grant support to launch and establish the program.”

The initiative is funded by a five-year $1 million Community Impact Grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program and seeks to empower communities and strengthen the future health care workforce through the Community Connections team. The project trains community volunteers and students from UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stevens Point to connect patients with community services including food, energy, housing, and transportation.

“The Wisconsin Partnership Program is honored to have been selected as a 2022 Marshfield Clinic Health System Outstanding Partner in Community Health,” said Amy Kind, MD, PhD, associate dean for social health sciences and programs at the School of Medicine and Public Health, and executive director, Wisconsin Partnership Program.

“Decades of research have shown the power social determinants hold over health. Factors including socioeconomic status, neighborhood and physical environment, education, and employment influence health outcomes across an array of conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. We are pleased to be able to support the important work moving forward through the Community Connections Team project, improving health of the people of Wisconsin and aligning with our vision of a healthier Wisconsin for all,” said Kind.