Milwaukee Health Department
UWM's School of Public Health has a unique relationship with the City of Milwaukee Health Department. The Health Department is committed to becoming an academic health department, a designation which signifies a close, reciprocal partnership between a local health department and a school of public health.
"In this model, academia collaborates with its local official government public health agency in many ways which strengthen both and achieve a synergy and level of service and education that many not be possible when they work independently. In the vision, the senior professional staff of the local health agency will enjoy adjunct or regular faculty status. They teach and conduct and oversee research on campus. But much more to the point, they provide the nucleus of the quality faculty in the community where community-based participatory research must occur and where practice-based learning happens at its best...Students provide extended workforce and, as many have observed, an excitement about learning which spreads to all staff. The benefits for the agency are many and tangible. As the agency benefits, so, too, do the community's citizens."
The Milwaukee Health Department began positioning itself to function as an AHD as far back as the early 1990s, when two Medical College of Wisconsin faculty physicians provided academic public health leadership to the department, including medical supervision and oversight of public health nurses who provided direct service to people without access to regular healthcare. Currently, one Milwaukee Health Department physician is an adjunct faculty member with UWM's College of Health Sciences Department of Health Care Administration. Several students from that program have served internships with the Commissioner and others at the MHD.
The Milwaukee Health Department has also partnered with the Center for Urban Population Health, an academic research center sponsored by UW-Milwaukee, the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, and Aurora Health Care. The Center for Urban Population Health benefits from this partnership by having access to large amounts of public health data, which supports its grant-funded research program. The Milwaukee Health Department benefits by having experienced researchers to help analyze this data.
Source: Planning for an Accredited School of Public Health at UWM (2006). Public Health Planning Team.