Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is teaming up with Marquette’s College of Nursing to open two primary care clinics, which will serve children and families in Milwaukee communities in need of health care facilities. The clinics will open in October and will serve as clinical sites for graduate and undergraduate nursing students, according to a press release from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
The clinics will be located at the COA Youth and Family Centers, 2320 W. Burleigh St., and the Northside YMCA, 1350 W. North Ave.
Kelly Campbell, director of the Marquette Neighborhood Health Center, worked to help create the partnership between Children’s Hospital and the College of Nursing.
“Doctors from Children’s Hospital came to the College of Nursing dean, Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, asking for this partnership,” Campbell said. “We have to get nurses exposed to community health care so they can recognize the specific needs of the community. If we don’t, they may not consider community health in a trajectory like this.”
Norah Johnson, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and certified pediatric nurse practitioner, said the College of Nursing’s interest in providing health care to inner city children dates back a few years.
“We are concerned first and foremost about children in the community,” Johnson said. “That’s why it was a great idea to partner with somebody with good resources. We can serve more people.”
Campbell said clinical placements for graduate and undergraduate students will hopefully begin in January. The graduate student program will be assigned to diagnosing and treating acute and chronic health conditions, while undergraduate students will carry out general primary care services.
Mara Duckens, associate executive director of the COA Youth and Family Centers, said she looks forward to meeting the needs of the families in the community.
“We know that in the 53206 zip code there is currently no health home, so this will be a huge benefit in the community,” Duckens said. “It’s a really interesting partnership. Children’s Hospital was looking to expand their scope and services to the inner cities, and so we’re very excited to enter into collaboration with one of the top hospitals in the country and one of the best universities.”
In August, the center hosted an open house with hardhat tours of the new facility so members of the community could see the clinic’s progress.
“After hearing the proposition and plans from Children’s Hospital, our families were very interested and supportive,” Duckens said.
Shanee Jenkins, executive director of the urban campus of the Northside YMCA, said she shares the excitement for the new clinics.
“Knowing that more than 600 kids and families in the community will have access to clinics speaks volumes,” Jenkins said. “It’s neat to see collaboration in its truest form. Children’s Hospital is making a commitment to become more visible to the community, and Marquette as well. It’s a great thing to see.”
Story by Elizabeth Baker
Special to the Tribune