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ACTIVATE - Partnering to Transform Child Health in Wisconsin

The ACTIVATE (Advocacy for Children — Transformational Impact Via Action and Teamwork for Engagement) initiative aims to improve Wisconsin children’s health and development, particularly with regard to socioeconomic and racial disparities. To meet this aim, the team is designing and implementing two population-based child advocacy initiatives in a collaborative manner between community and academic entities. In accordance with the principles of collective impact, we are aligning interests and employing the unique capabilities and capacities of community organizations, community members, health care providers-in-training, advocates-in-training and physician advocates. The anticipated two-year outcomes include:

  1. Improvement in the state of child well-being across Wisconsin;
  2. Infrastructure for ongoing improvement and sustainability; and
  3. Enhanced advocacy training and support for healthcare service providers and advocates.

Needs Assessment

The ACTIVATE initiative began its initial two-year partnership with a broad assessment of statewide child health needs to determine community-identified child health priorities, and ideas on how a new community-academic partnership might best serve these priorities.

This needs assessment included formal interviews of thirteen key representatives and a number of less formal discussions from Wisconsin community organizations, state and county agencies, and academic research groups for their perspectives regarding the most pressing child health issues and related project ideas.

The needs assessment additionally involved a review of published information summarizing

  1. Data reflecting the status of child health in Wisconsin;
  2. Current Wisconsin-based organizations’ activities and recommendations for future work; and
  3. Evaluations of child health initiatives both inside and outside of Wisconsin. The Needs Assessment report summarizes findings and the process the steering committee followed to evaluation and select proposed projects.


1) Child Health Policy Project

A program to provide accurate, high-quality child health information to families, policymakers, legislators and other key stakeholders to assist sound decision making regarding child and family health. Information will be delivered in multiple forms including legislative briefings and community outreach events.

Project Partner

2) Resource Navigation

A clinic-based program to screen families for social determinants of health issues, and link families to learners (med students, residents, PA students, and health advocates-in-training from law, social work, psychology, etc.) who will connect them with local resources to help meet those needs.

Project Partners:

Please direct questions to:

Lane Hanson, Project Coordinator, 608.890.0517,