MILWAUKEE– Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, formally announced five Wisconsin Public Health AmeriCorps grant awards to four organizations at an event on Friday, April 29, in Milwaukee. Public Health AmeriCorps is a partnership between AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health AmeriCorps will support the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of public health leaders whose service will positively impact the lives of people in Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

“Public Health AmeriCorps and Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, United Way Fox Cities and the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics will add capacity to strained public health systems and build a career pipeline for public health careers in Wisconsin,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Over the next year, more than 200 new AmeriCorps members will provide invaluable services to rural and underserved communities and address the COVID-19 pandemic, substance use, community health and health education across the state. I look forward to championing these programs in partnership with our grantees, Lt. Gov. Barnes and Wisconsin health leaders.”

“I deeply admire the work AmeriCorps has done over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the continued investments in the nation’s recovery,” said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “This funding from the American Rescue Plan will help further that work to an even greater extent.” 

Smith and Lt. Governor Barnes were joined at the event in recognizing AmeriCorps members in Wisconsin and celebrating the grant awards by Serve Wisconsin Executive Director Jeanne Duffy, City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson, President and CEO of Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers Dr. Julie Schuller, and Dr. Brian Hilgeman, an AmeriCorps alumnus at Medical College of Wisconsin. 

“AmeriCorps has the dual mission of promoting service and providing service, but also creating the next generation of civic leaders,” said Jeanne Duffy, Executive Director of Serve Wisconsin, the state agency responsible for promoting AmeriCorps in the state and administering its federal funding. “There is an AmeriCorps host site supervisor who said her job is to create the next generation of professionals, not professionals that look like her, but professionals that are authentic to themselves. I have no doubt that the next generation of authentic and diverse public health officials will come from Public Health AmeriCorps. Thank you for helping celebrate this historic moment and the rebuilding of our public health infrastructure, and please help spread the word that we are looking for members to become these future health leaders.” 

Grantee organizations include:

Marshfield Clinic – Community Corps, $2,304,000

80 full-time AmeriCorps members will provide capacity-building services to public health organizations across Wisconsin. AmeriCorps members will increase their knowledge of public health needs, specifically rural health needs, through their service.

Marshfield Clinic – Recovery Corps, $864,000

30 full-time AmeriCorps members will serve as recovery coaches to reduce the effects of prescription drugs, opioids and other substances within the clinic’s service area across Wisconsin. Members also will promote awareness, education and stigma reduction around substance use recovery in the community and initiate referrals to social service organizations.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, $374,326

13 full-time AmeriCorps members will expand the delivery of health and social services in four health care clinics and community venues on the south side of Milwaukee. AmeriCorps members will provide education, health screenings and event facilitation.

United Way Fox Cities – Be Well Fox Valley, $259,200

Six full-time and six part-time AmeriCorps members will improve health and well-being in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties by providing capacity building for eight partner organizations.

Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, Inc., $867,187

28 full-time and six part-time members will support for Community Health Departments and Free and Charitable Clinics throughout Wisconsin. AmeriCorps members will help clinics address the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid use, strengthen telehealth capabilities, secure grant funding and procure volunteers. 

A full recording of the event is available HERE.

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