Pabst Catalyst Initiative: A Catalyst for Women’s Health

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The Pabst Catalyst Initiative emerged as the result of a private start-up donation from Joseph Pabst in 2014 to foster partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The primary purpose is to improve the health of women in Milwaukee, merging public health and clinical practice.

Collaborative conversations lead to a shared question: “If there is clear evidence to support a policy and/or program intervention to advance women’s health, and there are places that already have translated this science into effective policies and practices with demonstrated improved health outcomes, why can’t we do that here?” The Pabst Catalyst Initiative identifies evidence-based, proven practices and explores strategies for integrating what works with local efforts to improve the health and well-being of women.

Initial Goals

The initial goals of the Pabst Catalyst Initiative are to:

  • Cultivate cross-sector, cross-institution, and interdisciplinary partnerships for women’s health.
  • Improve the health and well being of women and children, and their families in Milwaukee and beyond through uptake of proven interventions for health improvement.
  • Facilitate a clear and collective understanding of the science.
  • Foster the adaptation of evidence-based practices in the design and delivery of public and population health policies and programs in Milwaukee.

Steering Committee

Magda Peck, ScDFounding Dean and ProfessorJoseph J. Zilber School of Public HealthLeader
Janet Rader, MD Jack A. and Elaine D. Klieger Professor and Chair Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMedical College of Wisconsin, Department of OBGYN Leader
Emmanuel Ngui, DrPHAssistant Professor Joseph J. Zilber School of Public HealthContributor
Fredrik Broekhuizen, MDProfessorMedical College of Wisconsin, Department of OBGYN Contributor
Seema Menon, MDAssociate ProfessorMedical College of Wisconsin, Department of OBGYN Contributor
Paul Lemen, MDAssociate Professor; Director, MCW Residency ProgramMedical College of Wisconsin, Department of OBGYN Contributor
Kristina Kaljo, PhDInstructional DesignerMedical College of Wisconsin, Department of OBGYN Contributor
Jessica Gathirimu, MPH, CPHDirector of Family and Community Health ServicesMilwaukee Health DepartmentContributor
Nicole AngresanoVice President of Community ImpactUnited Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha CountyContributor
Joy Neilson, MSCommunity Engagement CoordinatorJoseph J. Zilber School of Public HealthContributor
Deborah Ehrenthal, MD, MPH, FACPAssociate Professor; Faculty Director of the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Pilot Project 2015

The Pabst Catalyst Initiative currently functions as an umbrella initiative with the hope of fostering many replicable projects to better women’s health. The first pilot project centers on improving health for women and children, in Milwaukee, with two targeted outcomes: a reduction in unintended pregnancies and improved birth outcomes. The evidence-based clinical intervention with successful public health practices elsewhere in the U.S. is Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).

Is LARC an underutilized as a prevention strategy in Milwaukee? The Initiative will organize and execute a kick-off workshop, in June of 2015, to convene community stakeholders, establish a collective understanding of the science and explore successful models of LARC implementation. Ideas cultivated by the conference will guide next steps for action.


2014June 2015June - August 2015September - October 2015October 2015 and Beyond
Problem identification, define pilotEvent 1- Kick Off Conference: Understand the science & establish a common knowledge baseOpt-In Collaborative Learning Teams: Put science into action to facilitate barrier bustingEvent 2 – Lessons Learned: Pitch solutions and seek community consultationIncrease uptake and implementation


  • Action Learning Workshop for Women’s Health – LARC – June 17, 2015
  • Action Learning Collaborative Readiness Session – LARC – September 17, 2015
  • Action Learning Collaborative Kickoff Session – LARC – October 15, 2015
  • LARC in Milwaukee and Beyond: A Strategic Update – May 4, 2016

Get Involved

  • Join the planning and brainstorming team.
  • Attend the kick-off conference to bring evidence-based practice to Milwaukee.
  • Translate evidence into action using team based strategies.
  • Reconvene at a second event to reality check and act for uptake.

For additional information and to get involved, please contact:

Kristina Kaljo, PhD
Instructional Designer
(414) 805-6653 | Email