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Engagement and Empowerment Provide a Strong Foundation to Advance Nursing in Wisconsin

Feb 27, 2013, 9:00 AM, Posted by Judith Hansen

Judith Hansen, MS, BSN, RN, is the executive director of the Wisconsin Center of Nursing and co-lead of the Wisconsin Action Coalition.

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Since the release of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, leaders in Wisconsin have made concerted efforts to plan well and engage nurses and key stakeholders. Our goal is to empower them with a firm foundation so they will be ready to implement the report’s recommendations.

Our first task was to create awareness and knowledge of the IOM Report, so initial efforts began even before we were designated as a state Action Coalition. In September 2010, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) School of Nursing launched the report by bringing ‘home’ Donna Shalala, PhD, FAAN, former chancellor at UW.  

Shalala, also a former head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, chaired the Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the IOM, and provided a powerful keynote address to engage the nurses of Wisconsin. To continue this process, the Wisconsin Center for Nursing (WCN), utilizing its partnership and grant funding through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, sponsored a summit in May, 2011.

As the state’s nursing workforce center, WCN has existing partnerships with a vast array of partners including the Wisconsin Nurses’ Association, the Wisconsin Nurses’ Coalition, the Administrators of Nursing Education in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Healthcare Workforce Data Collaborative, and baccalaureate and technical school education programs.

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United Way of Greater Milwaukee: Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Dec 26, 2012, 8:20 AM

United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s If Truth Be Told video on progress reducing teen pregnancies

A study released this fall in the American Journal of Public Health looks at a critical evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program led by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee. The United Way catalyzed critical partnerships between schools, community organizations and the Milwaukee Health Department to focus on the goal of reducing teen pregnancies.

In 2008, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, together with its partners, made a public commitment to reduce teen births among 15- to 17-year-olds by 46 percent by 2015. In October 2011, the City of Milwaukee and United Way announced the fourth consecutive yearly drop in the teen birth rate, by 13.5 percent, to its lowest level in decades. The current trend indicates that the partners are on track to reach their goal of 30 births per 1,000 (a 46 percent drop) by 2015.

Initiatives to support these goals include:

  • Significant investments in programs through the Healthy Girls project that helps young people understand the consequences of teen pregnancy while also teaching them the skills needed to cope with social pressure to engage in sexual activity.
  • A collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin residents to develop content for a youth-focused, website, Baby Can Wait, with medically accurate and age-appropriate content on preventing pregnancy and promoting healthy relationships.
  • United Way worked with Milwaukee Public Schools and other community leaders to revise human growth and development curriculum. Community members were given an opportunity to review the materials and make suggestions about content, and teachers received training in the new curriculum.

NewPublicHealth caught up with Nicole Angresano, Vice President at United Way of Greater Milwaukee, to get her take on the program’s successes and what other communities can learn from them.

NewPublicHealth: What is different about this effort to focus on teen pregnancy for your community?

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