The University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute has been in close coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Health and the Governor’s Health Equity Council, providing data informed approaches to achieve better health and equity in the state. This partnership was highlighted in the Governor’s State of the State address, in the roll out of the new WI State Health Improvement Plan, 2023 – 2027, and in the Governor’s Health Equity Council’s Report: Building a Better Wisconsin: Investing in the Health and Well-being of Wisconsinites.
Informing the Governor’s Health Equity Council: UWPHI’s Wisconsin Health and Equity Report Cards
Creation of the Governor’s Health Equity Council in 2019 was informed in part by the UWPHI’s 2016 Health of Wisconsin Report Card which gave the state a “D” for an overall Health Disparity grade.
The Council used data from the Institute’s 2021 Wisconsin Population Health and Equity Report Card to illustrate the persistent health disparities in the state and to propose solutions for improving health and equity.
WI DHS State Health Improvement Plan Leverages UWPHI’s WI Population Health and Equity Report Card
The Institute’s 2021 Wisconsin Population Health Equity Report Card was also developed in collaboration with the WI DHS State Health Improvement Plan team to emphasize social determinants of health and the upstream factors that impact health and equity. UWPHI’s Action Researcher Salma Abadin worked closely with Maggie Northrop, DHS State Health Improvement Plan Coordinator to align evidence and action. PHI’s research and narrative tools were incorporated to strengthen evidence and messaging.
Governor’s State of the State Draws on UWPHI Research and Narratives
Governor Evers’ 2023 State of the State Address also utilized research and data from the Institute to highlight shortages of mental health providers per capita in Wisconsin. The Governor noted, “a 2022 report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute indicated there are 440 people for each mental health provider in Wisconsin. And even before the pandemic, a 2019 report from the Institute indicated that 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have significant shortages of psychiatrists. So, we’re also going to invest in making sure we have adequate, available mental health professionals who can provide the treatment Wisconsinites need across our state.”
Governor’s Health Equity Council Report
The Council released its full report “Building a Better Wisconsin: Investing in the Health and Well-being of Wisconsinites” on January 30, 2023. It includes the 20 recommendations adopted by the council. It also has robust data revealing the state of health equity in Wisconsin and an examination of the social determinants of health that contribute to differences in health outcomes documented across the state.
Governor Ever’s 2023 State of the State Address
Narratives and research data developed with and by UWPHI were named.
New state plan emphasizes root causes behind public health conditions and outcomes. Wisconsin Examiner. February 2023.
‘We have to look upstream’: State health officials lay out priorities for improving public health. Wisconsin Public Radio. February 2023.
More Money for Mental Health Programs Gets Bipartisan Support in Many States. Wall Street Journal. February 2023.
Health equity report calls for changes that extend beyond the health care system. Wisconsin Examiner. January 2023.