Find the Bright Spots: Four Wisconsin Communities Working to Improve Health

We know that bringing people and organizations together across communities, and across sectors, is important to addressing difficult problems like improving school readiness for at-risk children, reducing childhood obesity, or changing the culture of risking drinking. But what brings these groups together? What sustains their work and contributes to their success? Below are four profiles of communities in Wisconsin doing the hard work of tackling local health challenges. We hope that readers of these stories will be inspired to try some of the strategies featured here. We thank all of these communities for their generosity with their time and insights.

Brown County Community Partnership for Children
A United Way assessment showed that Brown County was rich in community resources but needed a better coordinated system of care for children ages 0-5. A multi-sector community partnership was formed which has made a tremendous impact on young children, parents, and families.

La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium
The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium exemplifies collaboration with their unique partners that include 2 healthcare systems, 3 higher education organizations, media outlets, and non-traditional partners such as college students, city planners, city council members and tavern owners.

Menominee Nation Community Collaboration
The Menominee Nation has formed a Community Collaboration Workgroup to improve the health and academic achievement of Menominee children. The workgroup draws strength from the Bridges out of Poverty framework and from its commitment to improving the well-being of all Menominee children.

Southwest Madison Community Organizers
After the murder of a neighborhood teen, four Southwest Madison neighborhoods partnered together to address the root causes of violence and poor health. This partnership evolved into SWMCO: a self-sufficient group of residents that seek out new resources to support community building and health improvement.