Wisconsin Healthiest State Initiative

Wisconsin Healthiest State Initiative LogoThe Wisconsin Healthiest State Initiative represents a collective effort to advance health equity in Wisconsin. The initiative consists of convening statewide partners, setting shared priorities around health equity, leading workgroups to make progress on shared priorities, and hosting statewide Summits. Read more below about this emerging effort and learn how to get involved.

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Healthiest State Convenings

The Healthiest State Convenings aim to:

  • Convene and support diverse leaders in setting and taking action on a common agenda to align and catalyze efforts;
  • Provide capacity building and support to address cross-cutting needs, challenges, and opportunities; and
  • Advance a shared narrative that expands the understanding of what shapes health and equity.

During odd years, Agenda Setting Convenings are held to identify shared priorities. In even years, a statewide Summit is held to provide training and capacity building and to support coalition building and further alignment around priorities. The outcomes and planning for these events are linked to shared action between convenings. The hope is that these efforts will lead to a strong and diverse network of effective leaders and coalitions, working together to achieve sustainable changes to advance health equity in Wisconsin.

2017 Healthiest State Agenda Setting Convening Summary Report

2018 Healthiest State Summit Summary Report 

2019 Healthiest State Agenda Setting Convening Summary Report

Health Equity Priorities

Six health equity priorities were identified in the 2017 Healthiest State Agenda Setting Meeting.

  • Center leadership of those most impacted by inequity
  • Build diverse alliances and partnerships
  • Declare racism a public health emergency
  • Develop a health equity narrative with strong frames
  • Health equity legislative/policy agenda
  • Identify and support public health champions

Health Equity Priority Workgroups

Workgroups were established to advance work on the health equity priorities and partners came together in September of 2018 at the inaugural Healthiest State Summit to build capacity and continue action around these priorities. The two priorities that did not have workgroups were “build diverse alliances and partnerships” and “identify and support public health champions.” Both of these priorities were embedded goals within each workgroup and were also represented as training tracks at the 2018 Healthiest State Summit.

Summary of Health Equity Priority Workgroups

Centering the Voices of Those Most Impacted Workgroup

Goal: To support work to center voices of those most impacted by inequity in health equity work

Work to date: 

Health Equity Narrative Workgroup

Goal: Develop and disseminate a health equity narrative

Work to date:

Health Equity Policy Platform Workgroup


  • Support connections between people working on social determinants of health and health equity 
  • Collect information on what folks are doing in social determinants of health and health equity 
  • Use data to inform priorities and crosswalks of policy agendas
  • Identify needs for resources
  • Support local policy platform development

Work to date: Building Health Equity Policy Agendas: A Guide for Wisconsin 

Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis Workgroup

Goal: Increase resources, training and action to address racism as a public health crisis

Work to date: 

Learn more

For more information about the Health Equity Priority Workgroups, contact Kristi Anderson (klanderson23@wisc.edu).


A training plan to support the health equity priorities is in development. More information will be posted soon.

There are existing resources that can help you and your organization start, deepen, and sustain your efforts to embed health and racial equity into your work. Please see this document of recommended resources, organized by where you are in your health equity work: Health and Racial Equity Resources.  The Wisconsin Public Health Association has also compiled Racism and Health Resources.

For more information about the emerging training efforts, contact Raymond Neal (raymond.neal@wisc.edu).

For questions regarding the Wisconsin Healthiest State Initiative, please email: healthieststatewisc@wisc.edu