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Dozens of neighborhood residents attend a community conversation at Ascension St. Joseph about how to make their community healthier, one of four conversations hosted by Ascension Wisconsin in January.

New services and programs continue to be added at Ascension St. Joseph while Ascension Wisconsin continues to formulate a plan to improve the health of residents in the Sherman Park and West Burleigh Street neighborhoods.

Over the last eight months, Ascension Wisconsin has been listening to local stakeholders through patient interviews, community conversations, a Community Health Needs Assessment and 161 interviews with individuals, as well as community organizations.

At the Ascension St. Joseph community conversations in January, Milwaukee residents shared their ideas in small group discussions, with each group reporting out their thoughts. Everyone attending was invited to select their top three priorities for working together to create a healthier community.

The information gathered from these interviews and community engagement will help guide how Ascension St. Joseph integrates traditional healthcare services with non-healthcare programs and services that have an impact on the physical, mental, and financial health and well-being of individuals and the community.

“As we’ve been listening to the community over the last several months, some themes are emerging. Residents are telling us they need more access to education and job training, transportation, primary and urgent care, child care, healthy foods, chronic disease prevention, expanded services for high-risk mothers and their infants, and affordable housing options,” said Reggie Newson, Ascension Wisconsin Chief Advocacy Officer.

Newson said Ascension Wisconsin recognizes its role in the neighborhood as an anchor institution and appreciates the input from the community on how work can be done together to address health equity concerns.

“There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping people healthy. We are committed to reducing disparities when it comes to prevention, detection and treatment of disease,” Newson said. “Part of the solution means moving from care that only treats you when you’re sick to being a partner that’s focused on keeping you well.”

Some recent programs and services added at the Ascension St. Joseph campus include:

414Life

A partnership with the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention designed to help combat gun violence in the city.

WIC

A Women, Infants and Children (WIC) outreach office, run by the Milwaukee Health Department in the Women’s Outpatient Center, opened on campus April 8. WIC offers nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to other health and social services to low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and children under the age of 5.

Opioid Recovery Coaches

A pilot program to help opioid overdose patients who visit the hospital’s emergency department.

Blanket of Love

A program that promotes healthy births and babies by providing group prenatal and parenting education.

Stock Boxes

Ascension St. Joseph partners with Hunger Task Force to enroll eligible seniors into its Stock Box service. A monthly supply of free food staples is distributed at the hospital. This unique partnership is the first of its kind in the state.

Ascension Wisconsin is committed to building additional strategic alliances and partnerships that will provide programs and services that create flourishing lives in the neighborhood around Ascension St. Joseph. Anyone interested in receiving more information may contact CommunityRelationsWI@ascension.org.

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