Mary Jo Baisch, assistant professor in UWM’s College of Nursing, recently received the 2009 Public Health Nursing Creative Achievement Award from the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Public Health Nursing section.
The award, presented at the association’s November convention in Philadelphia, cited Baisch’s three decades of work in public health nursing “through integration of practice, research, administration” and her work in “enhancing the quality of care delivered to vulnerable populations.”
Baisch, a member of Gov. Jim Doyle’s Wisconsin Public Health Council, has focused her teaching and research on nurse-led community health practice. She has served on committees and advisory groups for government and nonprofit organizations. She also helped provide leadership to UWM’s Community Nursing Centers, which provide primary and preventive care to uninsured and under-insured low-income populations.
At UWM, Baisch has worked with nurse-managed health centers as a staff member. She also served as interim director of the Institute for Urban Health Partnerships, working with the college’s Community Nursing Centers and other community-based partnerships. Her research expertise is in community health planning and evaluation, primary health care, maternal and child health, and health policy. Working with the Riverwest Health Initiative, she is studying the impact of a “district nurse” on individuals and families, communities and systems.
Before joining UWM, Baisch was the director of the Teen Pregnancy Center of Milwaukee and the executive director of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center. She was an adjunct faculty member at UWM during her tenure at those programs.
One of her UWM colleagues wrote in the APHA tribute: “Dr. Baisch brings out the passion for community health nursing in others through practice, education and research. She exemplifies the principle that community health nursing is all about cultivating partnerships, and she embodies genuine, creative and committed community health nursing. Dr. Baisch’s achievements are exemplary and significant to public health nursing practice, administration, education and research.”