Wisconsin ranks high in overall health care performance; however, the state performs poorly on measures related to disparities. Wisconsin is lower than the US average on 22 of 27 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) measures of disparity in care for Hispanic and Black people compared to White people.
At its Assembly meeting September 19, the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) will release the first statewide health disparities report based on clinical performance data submitted to WCHQ by Wisconsin health systems and medical clinics. The findings will be presented by Matt Gigot, WCHQ director of performance measurement and analysis; and, Maureen Smith, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor, Departments of Population Health Sciences and Family Medicine & Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Nationally, health systems are working with communities to address health disparities. At the September 19 WCHQ Assembly, keynote speaker Kimberlydawn Wisdom, MD, former Surgeon General for the State of Michigan who is now Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity and Chief Wellness & Diversity Officer at Henry Ford Health System, will describe work at Henry Ford focused on health disparities/health care equity, infant mortality, maternal and child health, chronic disease, unintended pregnancy, physical inactivity and tobacco use. She has worked collaboratively with school districts, faith-based organizations and the business community.
In Wisconsin, health systems and community organizations are collaborating to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities. Four Wisconsin health care systems and organizations will present their strategies and initiatives at the WCHQ September 19 event:
Eliminating Disparities: A Health System View - Cristy Garcia-Thomas, Advocate Aurora Health
The Impact of Housing on Health - Caroline Gomez-Tom, Sixteenth Street Clinic, Milwaukee
Reducing Barriers: The Barbershop Health Initiative - Aaron Perry, Rebalanced Life Wellness Assoc.
Improving Access for People in Rural Wisconsin - Greg Nycz, Family Health Center of Marshfield