Targeting one of Milwaukee County’s most medically underserved neighborhoods, 80 percent of a $15 million investment from Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network will establish a new, 22,000-square-foot health care clinic on Milwaukee’s near south side in partnership with Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.
“As an academic medical center and regional health network, our mission is to advance the health of the communities we serve,” said Cathy Jacobson, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health. “This is an investment in our community for the long term, intended to achieve a sustained impact that will truly make a difference in people’s lives. We will partner with the Sixteenth Street team every step of the way.”
The clinic site is still undetermined, but Jacobson said a community health needs assessment coordinated by the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership identified Milwaukee’s 43rd Street corridor just south of Miller Park as an area of significant need. Access to health care services was among the top health issues that emerged as key priorities for Milwaukee County in the latest assessment.
“We are overwhelmed by this gift and what it means to our ability to help people who depend on us,” said Julie Schuller, MD, executive vice president of Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. “As a federally qualified health center, we have years of experience bringing care to those who need it. The new clinic will greatly expand our current capacity and give people a place to get medical care, behavioral health and supportive social services in their neighborhood. Plus, working with Froedtert & MCW, we can expand our offerings and care coordination in new ways, and deepen our strong commitment to quality and service.”
In addition to primary care provided by Sixteenth Street physicians, the new clinic will provide specialty care, cancer prevention and education, and access to cancer clinical trials through MCW physicians and the Froedtert & MCW academic medical center. It also will serve as a medical education site for MCW.
“Our doctors will develop relationships with patients in their own community, providing them a medical home,” said MCW president and chief executive officer John Raymond, Sr., MD. “And for aspiring doctors, the value of real-life experience working with people who are most in need of health care cannot be overstated. This is fundamental to MCW’s commitment to preparing the next generation of health care professionals.”
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers currently operates three clinics in Milwaukee County and one in Waukesha County. They are Chavez Health Center, 1032 S. Cesar Chavez Drive; Parkway Health Center, 2906 S. 20th Street; and United Community Center Senior Center, 703 W. Washington Ave., in Milwaukee County; and Waukesha Community Health Center, 309 E. North Street, Waukesha. The clinics offer primary care, behavioral health services, obstetrics and gynecology services and overall family health care. In 2014, approximately 36,000 patients were seen at the clinics, representing more than 150,000 visits.
Twelve million of the $15 million investment is dedicated to the new Sixteenth Street clinic. Plans call for identifying and purchasing a site by the end of 2015, completing construction in 2017 and opening in late 2017. When fully operational, the new clinic is projected to serve 12,000 patients each year who are currently without needed care, expanding Sixteenth Street Health Centers’ overall capacity to nearly 50,000 people.
The remaining $3 million will be distributed to high-need areas in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties based on medically underserved populations in those counties.
“Details on the remaining distributions will be finalized shortly,” said Jacobson.
“As we did with our $2 million investment in Progressive Community Health Centers’ new Lisbon Avenue Clinic several years ago, we are directing resources where there is the greatest need, focusing on sustainable, long-term solutions based on detailed community health assessments and sound data.”