AHW Announces Award of $4.8 Million in Grants to Support Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Response

April 9, 2020 Posted by AHW Endowment

Emergency funding will help 17 projects take immediate actions to protect health and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus

The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) has announced the award of nearly $4.8 million in funding to 17 projects designed to support health care and community agencies in the fight to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19 across Wisconsin.

“As part of our commitment to protect the health of people across Wisconsin, this emergency funding was announced to support immediate actions that focus on prevention, risk reduction, and minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 ,” said Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and senior associate dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). “The projects selected are laudable in how they will address critical and urgent needs, reach vulnerable populations, and help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our state.”

The 17 funded projects were selected through a competitive application and review process, and include efforts led by community agencies and MCW experts that will support outreach and communication to high-need populations in both rural and urban areas of Wisconsin, expand access to resources and care, and use innovative technologies and potential treatments to stop the spread.


“As health care providers and public health experts across Wisconsin strive to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, this funding is greatly needed for the health and well-being of the citizens and the communities that are living with this pandemic,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW, which is home to the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.


The funded projects include 11 statewide efforts that will support positive impacts in communities across Wisconsin, as well as dedicated projects in Milwaukee (4 projects), central Wisconsin (1), and northern Wisconsin (1). 


The full list of funded projects is below:


Milwaukee | Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Elderly African-Americans in Milwaukee ($508,388)
Supporting the MCW Center for Advancing Population Science in establishing a program to educate and test elderly African-American residents living in senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes, or homeless shelters in Milwaukee.

Statewide | COVID-19 Emergency Management Assistance for Wisconsin Tribes ($500,000)
Supporting the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council in coordinating with the federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin to prevent disease and protect vulnerable populations and workers providing essential community services.

Milwaukee | STOP COVID-19: Co-designing Culturally Relevant Risk-Reduction Communication for Vulnerable Communities in Milwaukee ($500,000)
Supporting the City of Milwaukee Health Department in rapidly improving communication of prevention guidelines to communities of color in Milwaukee County and piloting online training for community health workers and public health outreach personnel to respond to the mental health and wellbeing needs among these communities.

Statewide | Mobilizing Social Media Influencers for COVID-19 Prevention, Care, and Coping ($498,931)
Supporting the MCW Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine in implementing a strategic social media outreach effort to increase COVID-19 prevention, stigma-reduction, and coping steps.

Statewide | The Effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment Across Wisconsin Nursing Homes ($489,059)
Supporting the MCW Department of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases in providing health care workers in Wisconsin nursing homes with custom-made face masks and determining their impact in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Statewide | Convalescent Plasma for Treatment of Patients with COVID-19 ($382,664)
Supporting the Medical College of Wisconsin and Versiti Wisconsin, Inc. in a joint effort to identify, obtain, and provide convalescent plasma from recovered patients with COVID-19 to patients with active disease and, as a prevention effort, to front-line health care workers.

Statewide | Powered by 211: A Multi-faceted Approach to Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin ($366,524)
Supporting 211 Wisconsin, Inc., in scaling capabilities and strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and wellbeing of residents across Wisconsin.

Statewide | Education and Empowerment for Wisconsin Migrant Seasonal Agriculture Workers ($322,420)
Supporting Family Health La Clinica, in partnership with the Wisconsin Farmworkers' Coalition, in protecting the health of migrant and seasonal workers, their employers, and communities in Wisconsin through the development of education, resources, and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milwaukee | 3-D Printed Protective Gear ($313,792)
Supporting Concordia University of Wisconsin in scaling up the ability to produce personal protective equipment for medical professionals and law enforcement first responders in the Milwaukee area.

Statewide | Implementing Telehealth Solutions in Wisconsin’s Free & Charitable Clinics ($246,406)
Supporting the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics in Implementing a telehealth infrastructure across Wisconsin’s safety-net provider clinics to enable the continuation of services to vulnerable populations and prevent patients from accessing emergency departments for routine care.

Milwaukee | Epidemiologic Intelligence to Support Decision-Making in Milwaukee ($145,168)
Supporting the MCW Institute for Health & Equity in developing dynamic and responsive epidemiological data projections for Milwaukee County to enable health experts and local leaders to respond in real time to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statewide | Presence of SARS-CoV-2 in Stool of COVID-19 Cases ($144,171)
Supporting the MCW Department of Medicine in assessing whether COVID-19 patients could be transmitting disease via their stool to better understand and prevent the spread of the virus.

Statewide | Using Behavioral Nudges to Improve Preventive Health Behaviors that Limit COVID-19 Spread ($144,086)
Supporting the MCW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Center for Advancing Population Science in promoting key behaviors such as proper hand hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to patients at high risk for serious illness.

Northern Wisconsin | Rural Health Education & Community COVID-19 Response ($108,628)
Supporting NorthLakes Community Clinic in reaching residents of northern Wisconsin with education, information, and outreach services to promote prevention guidelines and support the health needs of local residents.

Statewide | Reducing the Transmission & Impact of COVID-19 on Wisconsin’s Transgender Community ($97,594)
Supporting the MCW Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine in providing a range of culturally competent services and information to assist and empower individuals who are transgender in preventing COVID-19 and coping with its associated circumstances.

Statewide | Educating the Hmong Community About COVID-19 ($33,290)
Supporting the Hmong American Friendship Association in producing and disseminating a series of culturally responsive educational videos for Hmong residents across Wisconsin to provide critical information that can prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Central Wisconsin | Locally Manufactured PPE & Other Medical Equipment ($11,439)
Supporting CREATE Portage County in scaling up the ability to use 3-D printing to produce personal protective equipment for health care professionals and first responders in central Wisconsin.

For more information, visit ahwendowment.org/fundedprojects