UWSP earns Community Partner Award from Marshfield Clinic Health System

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MCHS Award

The School of Health Sciences and Wellness proudly accepted the 2023 Marshfield Clinic Health System Outstanding Partner in Community Health award for UWSP’s five-year partnership with MCHS on a Wisconsin Partnership Program grant for the Community Connections Team (CCT) program. [View Photos]

Recipients of this award work closely with MCHS’s Center for Community Impact and Social Accountability (CISA) department to address community health needs throughout the MCHS service area. CCT is a collaboration between MCHS, the Universities of Wisconsin and community organizations to screen patients for social needs and connect them to resources in their community through the assistance of a student volunteer navigator.

“UWSP has welcomed Marshfield Clinic Health System to help recruit student volunteers and collaborate in offering experiential learning opportunities to students in programs such as the UWSP Health Scholars and Doctor of Physical Therapy, along with all the other programs our navigators have participated from,” said Jennifer Paape, program coordinator at MCHS Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “In addition, UWSP has provided a space along with the necessary technological support for the student navigators to carry out their experience.”

Since the beginning of the WPP grant in 2018, CCT has screened over 54,300 individuals and made 11,361 referrals to community agencies for support. Approximately 154 volunteer navigators from the Universities of Wisconsin have served an estimated 15,506 hours, which translates into approximately $493,098 based on Independent Sector’s value of a volunteer hour estimated to be $31.80.

“UWSP has been instrumental in serving on the CCT steering committee, taking part in process development to assess community needs, identify gaps, develop processes to enhance community collaborations and evaluating the effectiveness of the work we do,” said Paape.

Led by UWSP faculty members Tiff Akins and Corey Huck, students have worked with MCHS to connect patients with community services to address health inequities. In addition, student volunteers have been trained as CCT navigators to carry forward their knowledge and awareness of social determinants of health into their future professions.

“MCHS recognizes that partnerships like ours are an essential ingredient in creating healthier communities,” said Paape. “Our work together exemplifies the highest level of partnership and achievement and is worthy of recognition. Thank you for your commitment to working together with us to improve the health of our communities.”