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, allowing United Way to expand its efforts to reduce Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate.

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

Locally this collaborative will work to ensure Milwaukee has a sustainable community collaborative that contributes to the elimination of racial disparities in healthy birth outcomes. United Way has 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 is to prevent the leading cause of infant deaths: complications of prematurity. In support of this focus, our goal is 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-internal 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

LIHF Committees

Multiple committees have been established to implement the Action Agenda:

Open All
 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.

Open All
 LIHF Steering Committee

Members include:

Nicole Angresano
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Bevan K. Baker
City of Milwaukee Health Department

Mayor Tom Barrett
City of Milwaukee Health Department

Sarah T. DeRoo
City of Milwaukee Health Department

Shahree Douglas
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Gina L. Green-Harris
LIHF Regional Program Office

Maricha M. Harris
Milwaukee Public Schools

Nathaniel Holton
Milwaukee County Executive's Office

Mark M. Huber
Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

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

Jeffery Roman
Community Advocates Inc.

Paul Schmitz
Collective Impact Forum

Dr. Geoffrey R. Swain
City of Milwaukee Health Department

Joy R. Tapper
Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Jarvis Markell West
Community Resident Member

Mary Lou Young
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County


Join Milwaukee LIHF

Membership in the Collaborative is open to any person or organization with completion of a membership form (printable PDF version) and onboarding webinar. Collaborative members are responsible for programmatic outcomes to improve community conditions that lead to healthy birth outcomes in the Milwaukee area. Members use expertise to support, advocate, educate, share, and advise the Collaborative on improving healthy birth outcomes.


Community Resident Members of Steering Committee

The Milwaukee LIHF Steering Committee invites Community Resident Members to join the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is responsible for advancing the direction, activities and strategy to ensure progress on the Collaborative goal.

View the Community Resident Member role description and application.


Policy Briefing Information

2016 Policy Briefing

2015 LIHF Day at the Capitol


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 refreshed Strong Baby campaign, which was first introduced by the City of Milwaukee Health Department in 2010, puts a new emphasis on building a strong social community to help spread the word about what it takes to have a strong baby. The Strong Baby Facebook page and provide information to individuals and a space for people to share information and ideas.

In October 2016, Strong Baby launched a new campaign focusing on the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Home Visiting Programs. The programs, which serve pregnant mothers, fathers, and their families through the prenatal period and after the child is born, support healthy birth outcomes, child development, and family self-sufficiency. Want to learn more about the campaign or how to help your baby be a Strong Baby? Visit

Upcoming Events

Please wait while we gather your results.

Watch Video