Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Recognizes Partnership’s Role in Milwaukee’s ‘Culture of Health’

The Milwaukee Health Care Partnership is prominently featured in a July report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as part of its Culture of Health strategy. Milwaukee is one of thirty sentinel communities that the RWJF is following to better understand key ingredients for improving population health and building healthier, more equitable communities.

The RWJF’s Community Portrait of Milwaukee highlights a variety of factors that pose challenges to health improvement, as well as notable cross-sector collaboration, philanthropic commitment and civic engagement that is advancing a culture of health in our community.  In it, the Partnership is described as a neutral broker that “uses members’ policy and outreach know-how to achieve practical results.” 

Specifically, the report calls out the Milwaukee Enrollment Network, the MHCP ED to Medical Home initiative, and the health systems’ funding to expand FQHC capacity as examples of enduring collaboration to expand access to care for low-income and uninsured populations.  MHCP members who are individually acknowledged in the report are Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.

The community portrait also includes the contributions of MHCP partners who are helping build a culture of health: the Center for Urban Population Health and the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN).  Additionally, the report details the impact of community-wide initiatives in which the Partnership and its members are actively involved, including:  the Milwaukee Lifecourse for Healthy Families (LIHF) for infant mortality reduction, the city’s Blueprint for Peace for violence prevention, and the Community Development Alliance, the latter which is co-convened by several Milwaukee philanthropic organizations.

RWJF’ sentinel community portrait reports are based on multi-sector key informant interviews and numerous community-specific data sources.  To learn more about their sentinel communities and the corporate, government, academic, philanthropic and neighborhood efforts included in the Milwaukee Community Portrait, visit

Despite the financial stress of serving a large uninsured population without the funding cushion of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Milwaukee’s health care organizations have a strong track record in working together to better understand the community’s specific health needs and expand services accordingly.  Led by the MHCP, the city’s large health infrastructure has expanded enrollment for uninsured adults, shifted patients from costly EDs to primary care clinics, and increased the capacity of FQHCs

RWJF Culture of Health Sentinel Community Portrait, Milwaukee Wisconsin, July 2018