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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

Oct - Dec 2021​
  • In July, Sam Wilson (AARP Wisconsin) and Mary Kay Battaglia (NAMI Wisconsin) hosted a conversation on Senior Mental Health for Wisconsin Partners members. 

  • In September, Bob Kellerman (GWAAR) and Jessica Beckendorf (UW-Madison Extension) hosted a conversation and workshop on Improv as a Tool for Connection

  • 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.

Rural WI Health Cooperative

  • We had the opportunity to meet on September 8 for an hour with members of the White House Domestic Policy Council to share our perspective on Rural Health in the COVID era. 

  • We applied for and received a $100,000 grant from the privately funded CDC Foundation which we passed through to WHA and the Stop the COVID Spread Coalition to fund a new PSA campaign to encourage rural vaccination.
    "Don’t wait. Vaccinate” was produced by Platform Communications and will run for four weeks on TV and radio, statewide in Wisconsin.

  • We are developing a gaming app, Rural Roads to Health Careers, to encourage high school students to choose careers in rural health in collaboration with the Wisconsin Area Health Education System, the State Department of Public Instruction, private philanthropic support and programmers at ACME Nerds, With permission, RWHC is upgrading an urban version developed by University of Wisconsin Health and the Madison Metropolitan School District and can be played at: 

United Way of Wisconsin

  • 21 Week Equity Challenge: In partnership with local United Ways around the state, we are hosting a 21 Week Equity Challenge, Aug 30-Jan 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.

  • We will be at Toward One Wisconsin (virtual)! Hear from local United Ways about their experience and tips for hosting and participating in an equity challenge during our session (presented alongside Rotary/YMCA): “Conversation Catalysts and Change Agents: How Community Organizations Step Up with Replicable Models for Engagement and Impact” Tuesday, October 12 from 10:45-11:45 am.

  • 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.

  • 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, or click here.

  • 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 (

Wisconsin Council of Churches

Wisconsin Council of Churches

NAMI Wisconsin

  • First week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. We will post "You are Not Alone" yard signs around the state that create awareness and support for mental illness.

  • Many of affiliates will host NAMI Walks on Saturday, October 9. Most are in-person, and some are hybrid style walks. Others will hold a fun event such as a candlelight evening, trivia night, mental health speakers, book events, art events to promote awareness of mental Illness. Check out your local affiliate’s website.

  • In September we hosted a dementia training for Law Enforcement in Waukesha which was streamed to Green Bay, Eau Claire, and Stevens Point to provide information to 80 officers from 12 counties. We collaborated with local affiliates and ADRC’s in each community.

  • September, which is Suicide Awareness Month, we hosted a 911 Dispatch Training to address best practices in response to suicide. We contracted with NAMI New Hampshire to provide 150 seats for an online Suicide Prevention training, targeting healthcare workers, school staff, mental health affiliate leaders, and 911 dispatch. 

  • Sept 23, we celebrated our NAMI One Day of Giving to honor our 40th year anniversary. Those that donate to NAMI Wisconsin will be entered into a sweepstakes and names will be drawn on September 23rd for some fabulous prizes.

  • November 5 – 6th we will host our Annual Conference in Pewaukee, in person. Registration is open and 36 sessions and two keynote speakers will present information about mental health, crisis intervention, peer support, advocacy, Ask the Expert on mental illness and more.

Arts Wisconsin

  • We recently announced this year's Creative Champion Awards, presented in partnership with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities. These awards honor civic leaders as champions and communities in Wisconsin focused on creativity as integral to civic engagement, community vitality, and access for everyone, everywhere in the state.

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association

  • WI Infant Toddler Policy Project is moving into a new chapter by creating a new brand as we harness the coalition of partners and growing interest across the state in addressing Wisconsin’s child care needs. This partnership can be seen with WEDA lobbying on child care at their Day at the Capitol for the first time or counties lobbying on child care during the WCA lobby day. This is noteworthy as we work to expand the advocacy voices on child care with our elected officials. Be on the lookout for the new brand launch soon. 

  • The Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network, led by WECA, is expanding! Read more here.

UW-Madison Extension



Aug 30 - Jan 17 - United Way 21-Week Equity Challenge​ 


Sep 30 - Oct 2 - WECA Virtual Conference 


Oct - December On-Demand Workshops for WECA members


Oct 9 - NAMI Walks for Mental Illness Awareness Week 


Oct 12 - United Way and WECA will speak at Towards One Wisconsin Conference

Oct 13 - After the Worst of COVID: What do we keep? What do we toss? How do we do it?

Anne Katz (Arts Wisconsin), Brad Paul (WISCAP), and Tim Size (Rural WI Health Cooperative) will host a conversation about our professional and personal experiences and learning through COVID. All members of Wisconsin Partners are invited to participate. 


Nov 5 - 6 - NAMI Wisconsin Annual Conference, Pewaukee

Nov 6 - The Cost of White Christian Nationalism, Wisconsin Council of Churches 

Nov 10 - Wisconsin Partners Core Team Meeting

Final meeting of the year for members! We will have a few guests joining us for our "Connect and Celebrate" theme.

Dec 8 - Skills for Bridging the Divide

Wisconsin Partners members are invited to a special workshop, hosted by Braver Angels. More information will be coming out soon!

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