Healthy Communities Milwaukee Regional Summit
The Federal Reserve System and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created the Healthy Communities Initiative to enrich the debate on how cross-sector and place-based approaches to revitalize low-income communities might both revitalize neighborhoods and improve health.
In Milwaukee, the goal of the summit is to consider more deeply the common interests among community and economic development, criminal justice and public safety, and public health focused organizations in the region.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is collaborating with the City of Milwaukee Health Department, City of Milwaukee Police Department, IMPACT Planning Council, LISC Milwaukee, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Community Justice Council, Milwaukee County District Attorney, Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wisconsin State Public Defender and the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee to plan and organize the summit.
A large body of research and evidence demonstrates inextricable linkages between economic success and physical and mental well-being. People who live in economically challenged areas endure more stress and demonstrate higher levels of mental illness, are more prone to serious and earlier onset of disease, and live shorter lives, irrespective of genetic predispositions. While the relationship between a community and the health and well-being of its residents is well-established, opportunities for interdisciplinary discussions have been few. The summit will launch further exploration as to how the fields can work together more effectively, with participants informing those endeavors during break out and reporting sessions.
The daylong event featured both national speakers and local leaders in the public health, community and economic development, and criminal justice and public safety fields who disscused an array of issues and share examples of successful community integration between the disciplines from the perspectives of policy, practice and financing.
The conference seeked to engage the whole community in a conversation on how different sectors can work together more effectively to make Milwaukee safer, healthier and more prosperous. Additionally, appropriate follow-up activities that continue to shape new solutions were discussed and planned.