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Statewide Partnership to Advance Health Equity Launches “Healthy Metric”

Dr. Maureen Smith
Dr. Joan Neuner

Healthy Metric went live today, releasing new brief reports focused on health disparities in Wisconsin. The first five reports from Healthy Metric provide an initial look at the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on health and health disparities. The reports cover a wide range of issues impacting health outcomes and health care in Wisconsin including:

  • Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening
  • Disparities in Blood Pressure Control
  • Disparities in Diabetes Control and Outcomes
  • Disparities in Use of Benzodiazepines and Opioids
  • Disparities in Initial Opioid Prescribing

Supported by the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Healthy Metric was created to eliminate health disparities through collaboration, measurement, and action.

MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) and the UW’s Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP), statewide health funders based at Wisconsin’s two medical schools, have funded Healthy Metric through a joint three-year, $3 million grant awarded in 2021. The award launched an expansive new statewide partnership that will identify high-priority areas and take action to reduce health disparities across the state of Wisconsin.

With rising health inequities, it is critical to understand where health disparities exist so that targeted interventions can be developed to eliminate them. Healthy Metric brings together the two medical schools and the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), comprised of Wisconsin health systems and medical clinics; the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), a consortium of 20 health insurers; and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI), the largest private medical research institute in Wisconsin.

“The Healthy Metric partnership, funded in part by AHW, yields important insights into where and why health disparities exist in Wisconsin, providing understanding into who is affected and what factors contribute to systemic differences in health outcomes, which can then be addressed through focused interventions and public health programming,” said AHW Endowment Director Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH.

There is an urgent need to address disparities in Wisconsin, which led to AHW and WPP to join forces on this critical issue.

“The Wisconsin Partnership Program is committed to improving health and advancing health equity through investments in community partnerships, education, and research. We are pleased to join with statewide partners, including AHW, to catalyze innovative solutions toward sustainable change,” said Amy Kind, MD, PhD, associate dean for social health sciences and programs at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and executive director of the Wisconsin Partnership Program.

Healthy Metric is partnering with health systems across the state to identify best practices and take collaborative action to reduce disparities identified in reports.

“Using data and evidence are critical steps to identify where the greatest health disparities exist and to select the best strategies to improve them,” according to Maureen Smith, MD, PhD, MPH, professor of Population Health Sciences at UW-Madison. “Our team at UW-Madison is thrilled to collaborate with our partners on this initiative, bringing together experts in population health and using healthcare data for quality improvement, representing a statewide commitment to advance health equity in Wisconsin.”

“In order to truly advance health equity, we must work collaboratively. Healthy Metric brings together the strengths and focus of five statewide organizations to connect with communities across the state, report on disparities and take action. Our team at MCW is thrilled to partner in this essential work” says Joan Neuner, MD, MPH an internal medicine specialist and Georgia Carroll Professor of Women’s Health, Department of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

To view the reports, go to:

For questions: