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"Wisconsin Partners is hope for our small rural communities offering resources and a network bigger than our villages and cities, counties and watersheds can offer on their own."

– Jen Schmitz, Kickapoo Conversations

July - Sept 2021​

  • Wisconsin Partners worked with the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association on a toolkit on Wisconsin Shares, a child care subsidy program that has undergone significant changes in the past year. We encourage health care providers, churches, ADRCs, nonprofits, local government, and creative industries to use the toolkit and reach out for additional support, so that families can get the support they need and deserve. Please contact if you would like more information.

  • We continue to be involved in Wisconsin’s Civic Health Initiative, which finalized a report last summer and will move forward on action items for improving volunteering, community engagement, and participation in local government.

  • At the statewide level, we are convening Policy and Governmental Affairs staff from member associations on a monthly basis to identify issue alignment, and Communications and Outreach staff convene quarterly. We plan to work with Membership staff to find a time to meet in the second quarter of the year, with the intent of sharing strategies for members support and engagement.

Do you live in the Waupaca area? Or know someone who does? We are planning to meet with folks in late July / early August to put out feelers for a new regional group.

Stronger Together Fox Valley

Southwest Partners

  • On June 15, SWP had a groundbreaking ceremony for the new "safe routes" walking and biking trail. The Safe Route will be used for school access to two outlying schools and as an exercise trail for the community. Collaboration between the business community, the school district, private property owners, the City, and SW Partners working together for this community benefit were able to accomplish this gem.  Ribbon cutting is expected in two months.

  • SWP is funding and helping to organize the "Union Test Kitchen" which will provide after school training in vocational skills for middle and high school students, to open in Aug 21.

  • SWP, the City, and the County are now meeting together six times per year to coordinate economic development in the area.  A new economic development Director was hired and many new businesses are opening or building.  A new housing development is being created as a collaboration between SWP, the City and County Government.

  • Other initiatives in process: designing a new skate park, creating new child care providers, funding a new water slide and diving board for the aquatic center, and managing a new Community Foundation

Wisconsin Council of Churches

Arts Wisconsin

  • Ask Gov. Evers to support investment of $20 million in ARP funds to address the relief, recovery, and resilience of Wisconsin’s creative people, organizations, businesses and communities, through the Grow Wisconsin Creatively Resilience Fund. We're also asking advocates to sign on as a supporter of this campaign. 

  • Ask your legislators to help create a Rural Creative Economy grant program: beginning in 2022, $500k will be available to provide state support for cultural planning and creative economic development programs in rural communities (population: 20,000 or less). This program provides rural areas with the jumpstart they need to build their local economies and enhance their tourism and community cultural development efforts. Additionally, this funding will help level the playing field with our neighboring states, which vastly outspend Wisconsin in arts and creative economy development, and with metropolitan areas with large philanthropic donors.

  • ARP: ask your local officials to invest in the creative sector Now is the time to ask your local government to invest in creative people, businesses, and community-building.  Advocates should be reaching out NOW to their local elected officials and encouraging them to provide local recovery funds. 

  • Arts WI is planning a webinar to help local advocates with an ARP ask to their representatives. Date TBA

NAMI Wisconsin

  • On June 3, we hosted a webinar forum reviewing the private screening of the documentary “Cured” which highlighted the history of LGBTQ+ advocates who led the APA to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illness.

  • During Mental Health Awareness month in May, we hosted several webinars on mental health

  • We put out a new Cookbook, with recipes submitted by NAMI members. When someone has a heart attack, breaks their leg, or is diagnosed with a physical illness they are usually showered with support, messages of kindness, and food from friends and family. Unfortunately, that is not always the case when someone is diagnosed with a mental illness. We are changing this narrative by creating recipe books for people who are affected by mental illness.

  • We launched a Being Together program that allows folks to join support groups virtually from all over the state. You can find Family support groups and Peer Support groups on our website. We are also hosting a state wide Peer to Peer education course online - all are welcome to register!

  • In May we advocated with Joint Finance Committee to approve funding for Crisis Stabilization Centers (approved at $10,000,000) and increase in Crisis Intervention Training (increased from $125k to $375k annually).

UW-Madison Extension

  • Build it Strong: Child Care Business Foundations: UW-Madison Extension, in partnership with WECA, the Small Business Development Center, and local Child Care Resource & Referral agencies, will be offering 8-session courses on the foundations of running a child care business. There are several options to choose from and most are offering Spanish language interpretation. A few spots are available!

  • Relational Networking Program: Extension just wrapped up its second pilot of this program. Relational Networking (working title) is a research-based program designed to breakdown what it takes to develop deeper relationships that result in effective collaborations that ultimately address complex community issues. Another offering is expected to be delivered during 2021. Interested grassroots, nonprofit, or government leaders can sign up here to find out when the program will be offered again. 

Wisconsin Council of Churches

  • Pastor Dan Schultz spoke on behalf of Wisconsin Council of Churches at a June 9 press conference opposing bills restricting absentee voting and raising other barriers to voting at SS Morris Community AME Church in Madison.

  • The WCC COVID Vaccination Community Outreach Program hosted a training on June 16th for churches interested in hosting vaccine clinics. A training on empathetic listening for COVID concerns is planned for mid-July, and the Outreach Program continues to work with African-American churches in Milwaukee, Madison and smaller metro areas, as well as with Hispanic/Latinx communities in outstate Wisconsin. We are still recruiting for a field director position for rural areas! For more information, email Program Director Daniel Schultz:

  • A Retreat-in-a Box entitled "For a New Creation" was released as a tool to encourage leaders to disconnect and spend some time in rest and renewal. It features an 11 episode podcast that highlights the diversity of WCC's membership offering episodes on the themes of creation, rest, and renewal through music, poetry, and reflections along with written reflections, tactile activities, and a few goodies from sponsors. Subscribe on our website!

WI Primary Health Care Association

  • The JFC voted for an increased investment in the Community Health Center Grant. With this vote, the state moves one step closer to approving a $1 million annual increase in the Community Health Center State Grant. (See WPHCA press releases here)

  • Become a Wisconsin Community Health Center Advocate! Sign up to get advocacy alerts - including alerts to get the Community Health Center Grant signed in the budget!

  • WI Health Centers are preparing for National Health Center Week (Aug 8-14). See your local Health Center for events. 

  • WPHCA will host a webinar on Patient Centered Telehealth during National Health Center Week for lawmakers. Additional info forthcoming.

  • WPHCA sent their June Quarterly Newsletter to Wisconsin lawmakers. Check out all the quarterly newsletters for CHC updates, stories, data, and more. 

  • Check out WPHCA's State & Federal Policy websites for additional information on policy priorities.

Do you live in the Waupaca area? Or know someone who does? We are planning to meet with folks this summer to gauge interest in starting a new regional-based community-led group committed to bold, relational-based action.

  • First English Lutheran Church (FELC), 326 E. North Street, Appleton, is excited to partner with Ruby’s Pantry to bring corporate surplus food to help fight hunger in the Fox Cities area.  Ruby’s Pop-Up Pantry will be held at FELC in Downtown Appleton on the 1st Tuesday of every month, starting Tuesday, August 3, 2021. During each event, we hope to work with 20-50 volunteers of all ages and abilities. Kids 12 and under can participate with an adult, kids over 12 can volunteer independently. We are looking for volunteers to help with set up, registration, food distribution, traffic coordination and clean up.

AARP Wisconsin

  • AARP Wisconsin has been active in the 2021-2023 biennial budget process and has been advocating for state investments in family caregivers, broadband/high speed internet, and prescription drug issues. For more information around the state budget and our legislative priorities, go to

  • AARP Wisconsin has continued our virtual offerings throughout the last 15 months and all of our content has been curated onto our YouTube page for post-event streaming. For live content each week, tune into “Thursdays with AARP Wisconsin” at Noon on our Facebook and YouTube pages.  For catalogued content and upcoming events, go to or like and subscribe our YouTube channel latest information on staying physically and mentally fit, getting to know interesting people and places around Wisconsin, how to improve your neighborhood and community, and all things AARP.

  • Zoom is probably not leaving our lives for good but AARP Wisconsin is excited to be restarting community events after Labor Day and are excited about upcoming content around fraud awareness, financial security, and advocacy activities as the fall state legislative session kicks off and action continues in D.C. Check out our events calendar in the weeks and months ahead to see where AARP WI will be popping up as in-person events restart this fall!

Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources

  • SHIFT Care: With grant support and in collaboration with network and national partners, GWAAR is introducing a comprehensive, multi-faceted, high touch, care coordination approach. The pandemic raised awareness of social isolation and those individuals most at risk. Focusing on these groups wrestling with chronic conditions, health history, and social determinate of health factors, our ultimate goal is establishment a new avenue of outreach. SHIFT Care will focus on maximizing positive health outcomes, but more importantly provide coaching to enable individuals to confidently manage their health care needs. Bringing the CTI Model, or Care Transition Interventions Model to Wisconsin, (formerly known as the Colman Model), we are initiating the creation of this new network facet of support.

Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

  • On August 17, RWHC is hosting a webinar on how rural hospitals and their communities can partner together on broadband deployment. 2020 highlighted that broadband connectivity is essential. Many rural residents struggled as school, social opportunities, and more moved online yet their internet connection was too slow, too expensive, or wholly unavailable. Since the start of the pandemic, our nation has dedicated unprecedented resources to improving broadband connectivity, including in rural areas. 

  • The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative’s new foundation, RWHC Healthy Wisconsin, just received two $100,000 grants from the CDC Foundation to facilitate Covid vaccination in rural Wisconsin. One is in partnership with the Stop the Covid Spread Coalition and the other with the Wisconsin Immunization Neighborhood

  • RWHC Healthy Wisconsin continues to seek funding to further expand its work in community economic development as well as to partner with Wisconsin’s Area Health Education Center System to engage high school students in rural health careers.

United Way of Wisconsin

  • 21 Week Equity Challenge: United Way of WI, in partnership with local United Ways around the state, will be hosting another 21 Week Equity Challenge, August 30 - January 17. Weekly emails will take participants through a journey  to deepen understanding of inequity and racism, suggest ways to take action, and help launch a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our communities.  

  • 211 Pop-up Clinic Module: 211 Wisconsin launched a searchable vaccine pop-up-clinic module, which also features a way for anyone to add a new event. It's also now on the DHS website.

  • Caregiver Outreach: 211 | United Way of Wisconsin, in partnership with AARP Wisconsin, is focused on caregiver supports to walk alongside caregivers in their role of providing care. Caregivers can receive 1:1 phone calls with a dedicated and trained 211 Caregiving Specialist that provides supportive listening; referrals to resources based on your request and needs; follow up calls regarding referrals to discuss any issues or additional needs; and/or calls arranged to meet your schedule. Call 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211 to get connected to a 211 Specialist. 

  • Ride United to Vaccine Appointments is a program offering free rides to get vaccinated, and is currently available in Lyft-supported communities in Wisconsin. 211 Wisconsin is partnering with Lyft to provide free or low-cost ride services to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments, with door-to-door pickups and drop-offs. Call 877-947-2211 or 211 to get connected. If you have questions about Ride United or have identified transportation needs outside of a Lyft-supported community, please reach out to Deanna Schuette (


  • WERA Toolkit: WISCAP published a toolkit for Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance, which includes social media and print materials in English, Hindi, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish.

  • Poverty Matters Conference: The Poverty Matters Conference will be held September 8 & 9 at the Madison Concourse Hotel. The RFP for workshops is open! All partners are invited to submit a workshop if they would like to participate. Please check the website for updates.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association

  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood®  WISCONSIN Staff supported the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) apply for the Early Educator Investment Collaborative (EEIC) grant in March 2020. CMN is one of six U.S. institutions of higher education to be selected for the grant. CMN will receive $674,000 to support early educators in the Menomonie Nation.

  • Innovative Teaching and Learning Grants: T.E.A.C.H. provided an Innovation Grant to Waukesha County Technical College to update and adapt the curriculum of the DCF approved entry-level courses into self-paced and fully online trainings. T.E.A.C.H. also provided an Innovation Grant to UW – Whitewater and Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College to support the creation of an Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree Program centering on cultural and linguistic authenticity at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College.

  • WEESSN is growing with new hires this summer to expand our reach. Many of our coaches are teaching a Build it Strong: Child Care Business Foundations course across the state and we are working to secure 1,500 weekly food boxes for programs and families in Milwaukee and Madison.



Every Thursday - Thursdays with AARP Wisconsin

Live on Facebook: 


July 14 - Isolation Beyond the Pandemic: Older Adults and Mental Health, a conversation hosted by Mary Kay Battaglia (NAMI Wisconsin) and Sam Wilson (AARP Wisconsin)

Open to all members of Wisconsin Partners regional groups and associations. Please email for information.


August 8-14 - National Health Center Week - Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association


August 11 - Wisconsin Partners Core Team Meeting


August 17 - Webinar on Rural Community Economic Development - RWHC

Topic to be announced


August 30 - Start of 21-Week Equity Challenge - United Way of Wisconsin 


September 8 - Conversation hosted by WISCAP and UW-Madison Extension, topic TBA 


September 8-9 - Poverty Matters Conference - WISCAP


September 23 - One Day of Giving - NAMI Wisconsin


September 26-28 - Wisconsin Counties Association Annual Conference 


November 5-6 - Annual Conference - NAMI Wisconsin

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