Five health organizations receive nearly $5.7 million in federal funding to support more than 200 AmeriCorps members

MILWAUKEE– AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, announced five Wisconsin Public Health AmeriCorps grant awards to four organizations at an event on Friday, April 29, in Milwaukee. Public Health AmeriCorps, a partnership between AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will support the recruitment, training and development of a new generation of public health leaders. 

Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, joined Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Julie Schuller, M.D., Sixteenth Street Community Health, and Brian Hilgeman, M.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, to recognize AmeriCorps members in Wisconsin and announce the grant awards at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers’ National Ave. Clinic.

“Public Health AmeriCorps and Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, United Way Fox Cities and the Wisconsin Association of Free & Charitable Clinics will add capacity to strained public health systems and build a career pipeline for public health careers in Wisconsin,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Over the next year, more than 200 new AmeriCorps members will provide invaluable services to rural and underserved communities and address the COVID-19 pandemic, substance use, community health and health education across the state. I look forward to championing these programs in partnership with our grantees, Lt. Gov. Barnes and Wisconsin health leaders.”

“I deeply admire the work AmeriCorps has done over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the continued investments in the nation’s recovery," said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “This funding from the American Rescue Plan will help further that work to an even greater extent.”

“Across Wisconsin, American Rescue Plan funding is being used to help communities move forward and today’s announcement highlights how AmeriCorps is supporting that mission by investing in the next generation of public health leaders,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “I am especially proud of these Wisconsin organizations and this investment will support the work they do to improve public health services in rural and underserved communities. Wisconsinites are committed to serving their communities and Public Health AmeriCorps will help young people answer the call to service and make a difference in the lives of so many.”

“There are urgent needs in our most vulnerable communities and our local health centers support the health and well-being of our residents by providing quality care,” said Representative Gwen Moore (WI-04). “I am thrilled that this funding will help this important work continue and assist devoted and passionate AmeriCorps [members] in starting health care careers, supporting a diverse and culturally competent health care workforce,”

Grantee organizations include:

80 full-time AmeriCorps members will provide capacity-building services to public health organizations across Wisconsin. AmeriCorps members will increase their knowledge of public health needs, specifically rural health needs, through their service.

30 full-time AmeriCorps members will serve as recovery coaches to reduce the effects of prescription drugs, opioids and other substances within the clinic’s service area across Wisconsin. Members also will promote awareness, education and stigma reduction around substance use recovery in the community and initiate referrals to social service organizations.

13 full-time AmeriCorps members will expand the delivery of health and social services in four health care clinics and community venues on the south side of Milwaukee. AmeriCorps members will provide education, health screenings and event facilitation.

Six full-time and six part-time AmeriCorps members will improve health and well-being in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties by providing capacity building for eight partner organizations.

28 full-time and six part-time members will support for Community Health Departments and Free and Charitable Clinics throughout Wisconsin. AmeriCorps members will help clinics address the COVID-19 pandemic and opioid use, strengthen telehealth capabilities, secure grant funding and procure volunteers.

AmeriCorps CEO presents Public Health AmeriCorps grants in Wisconsin.

In addition, more than $1 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards is allocated to AmeriCorps members who complete their service term with Public Health AmeriCorps in Wisconsin.

These grant awards are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s larger $7 billion investment in the public health workforce. The next Public Health AmeriCorps federal funding opportunity is expected to be released in Fall 2022.

AmeriCorps continues to invest in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery. With existing programs in more than 40,000 locations across the country, AmeriCorps is uniquely positioned to bolster community response efforts. For the past two years, thousands of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic and have provided vital support, community response, and recovery efforts, providing support to more than 12 million Americans, including 2.5 million people at vaccination sites.

Learn more about Public Health AmeriCorps efforts in Wisconsin.