A Healthier Wisconsin

Community Outreach as a Core Component of Professional Development in Medical Education

Building capacity in early physicians to address Milwaukee's health inequities

Full Project Name:Community Outreach as a Core Component of Professional Development in Medical EducationPrincipal Investigator:Anne Castro, MD, AnesthesiologyCo-Investigator:Michael Malinowski, MD, Surgery; Stacy Fairbanks, MD, Anesthesiology; Chelsea Willie, MD, Anesthesiology; David Nelson, PhD, Family Medicine; Michael Zundel, MD, Anesthesiology; Robert Treat, PhD, Academic AffairsAward Amount:$199,877
Award Date
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:

The Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Foundation (on behalf of MATC) will expedite the process by which underrepresented students enter and complete the healthcare pathway, leading to greater equity of representation in healthcare and better community health outcomes.

Through this project, MATC will determine, implement, and assess systemic changes to its student scholarship and support programs, creating greater opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to enter healthcare professions. MATC will partner with Milwaukee Public Schools, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and regional healthcare systems and providers to recruit, educate, and place diverse candidates in the healthcare workforce.

The nation faces a health workforce crisis: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020), health care careers account for the largest gap between available talent and the number of job openings. As of August 2020, the nationwide shortage was a staggering 1,107,000 positions. Wisconsin healthcare organizations reflect the national shortage, with vacancies in registered nurses, lab technologists, surgical technicians, and certified nursing assistant roles. According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, in addition to physician shortages, Wisconsin hospitals are challenged to recruit surgical techs, lab techs, and respiratory therapists—positions for which a person can practice with a technical diploma or associate degree.

MATC offers certificates, technical diplomas, and associate degrees in more than 27 health-related areas, including these high-demand positions.

Community partners: Advocate Aurora Health, Center for Healthcare Careers of SE Wisconsin, Employ Milwaukee, Froedtert Memorial Hospital, MATC Foundation, MATC Health Care Pathway, Milwaukee Anchor Collaborative, Milwaukee Public Schools, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Project Updates:

  • Enrolled 40 residents from five programs at the start of the past academic year, with 36 completing the curriculum
  • Provided residents with two community outreach with All Saints Community Garden and StreetLife Communities to learn about respective populations served and to provide volunteer outreach services as well as 10 didactic session half days in a variety of workshops and seminars feature local community and MCW academic leaders
  • Collected a total of 17 surveys from each resident that are being analyzed along with qualitative data from small group discussions and journal entries from residents to inform future efforts

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8701 W Watertown Plank Road,
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-4350