AHW Directs nearly $3 million of Federal Funding to 10 Community Projects Focused on Maternal and Child Health

AHW Directs nearly $3 million of Federal Funding to 10 Community Projects Focused on Maternal and Child Health

MCW has identified 10 community-based organizations serving diverse populations throughout the state to receive $2.8 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding designed for maternal and child health equity projects. The MCW faculty approved for this funding include Janet Rader, MD (Obstetrics & Gynecology); Wendi Ehrman, MD (Pediatrics); Anna Palatnik, MD (Obstetrics & Gynecology); Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD (Surgery); and Christina Wichman, DO (Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine).

The Wisconsin Department of Health services routed the federal funds to MCW in November 2022 to be administered by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) in a pool separate from the public funds the philanthropy received from the privatization of Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin in 2000.

AHW invited applications for the ARPA funds in February from Wisconsin-based nonprofit hospitals and health systems; federally qualified health centers; and other nonprofit organizations to develop and improve strategies to address social determinants that contribute to Wisconsin’s significant disparities in maternal and child health outcomes. AHW also worked with MCW internal departments to identify promising research projects focused on maternal and child health that qualified for the ARPA funding.

Of the 10 community-led projects selected for ARPA grants after a rigorous review process, three provide services statewide, three are focused in Milwaukee, three address health challenges in rural areas of the state, and one serves tribal members in three northern Wisconsin counties.

“We are thrilled to be able to leverage our statewide networks and partnerships to identify and fund a really exciting slate of projects aimed at improving maternal and child health outcomes in underserved communities throughout Wisconsin,” says AHW Executive Director Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH.

Dr. Ehrenfeld adds, “Separate from the endowment funds we administer as part of our regular operations, AHW has directed these federal funds to propel innovative work being done to advance maternal and child health equity by the talented faculty here on the Medical College of Wisconsin campus.”

Check back for more to come.