Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Collaborative

Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Collaborative

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County was selected by Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health to lead its Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF) in Milwaukee with a 5-year grant (2014-2019), which allowed United Way to expand its efforts to reduce Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate.

This innovative community-academic collaboration was designed to improve community conditions that lead to healthier birth outcomes among African American families in Beloit, Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Racine. Learn more about the regional initiative’s strategies and local data related to priority areas by visiting the regional LIHF website.

Locally this collaborative worked to ensure Milwaukee had a sustainable community collaborative that contributes to the elimination of racial disparities in healthy birth outcomes. United Way convened leaders from the affected communities, business, nonprofit, faith community, and public sectors to address the issue.

Action Agenda
Guided by the Community Action Plan and informed by data, Milwaukee LIHF’s primary focus was to prevent the leading cause of infant deaths: complications of prematurity. In support of this focus, the goal was to advance local and state policies and practices around three priority areas:

  • Increasing awareness around the importance of pregnancy intendedness and birth spacing, because close-interval pregnancies are a key driver of pre-term births
  • Supporting mental and physical preparedness for pregnancy, because unmanaged chronic conditions are a key driver of pre-term births
  • Improving social and economic conditions for communities at highest risk, because the chronic stress of economic insecurity, housing instability and other social factors create physiologic changes that increase the risk of pre-term births
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 Health Care Access Committee

Expand access to high quality health care over the lifecourse for African American families in targeted Milwaukee ZIP codes.

 Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Committee

Focus on advancing achievable policy, systems and environmental change that will prevent/reduce prematurity. Improve conditions through equitable policy change that directly addresses social determinants of health and healthy birth outcomes. Increase community capacity.

 Strengthening African American Families/Fatherhood and Male Engagement Committee

Focus on addressing the racial impact of environmental stressors that contribute to premature births and infant mortality, monitor and support existing fatherhood and male engagement efforts in Milwaukee, while supporting efforts to improve the status of women’s health in African American communities.


LIHF Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for advancing the direction, activities, and strategy of the Collaborative.

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 LIHF Steering Committee

Members include:

Nicole Angresano
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Mayor Tom Barrett
City of Milwaukee Mayor

Christy A. Brooks
von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

Shahree Douglas
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

LaToyia Gibson
Community Resident Member

Gina L. Green-Harris
LIHF Regional Program Office

Maricha M. Harris
Milwaukee Public Schools

Mark M. Huber
Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Amy Lindner
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Wanda J. Montgomery
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Keith Parris
Milwaukee County Child Support Services

Magda G. Peck ScD
MP3 Health Group

Marcia Perkins
Community Resident Member

Monique Plears
Housing Authority of City of Milwaukee

Paul Schmitz
Collective Impact Forum

Joy R. Tapper
Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Tia Truss
Community Resident Member

Jarvis Markell West
Community Resident Member

Collaborative Reports

Community Media Efforts
Strong Baby Campaign - This grassroots campaign was designed to engage the community in the crucial conversation around the importance of changing the conditions that can lead to stronger babies. The Strong Baby Facebook page and Strong Baby website provide information to individuals and a space for people to share information and ideas.

© 2021 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 39-0806190.