Pi Phi Chapter

Academic and Community Partnership to Reduce Chronic Disease through Health Improvement and Capacity Building in Four Western Wisconsin Counties

Nursing Research on the Green

2011 Abstract

Donna Ferry BSN, RN
Judith Talbott MHA, MS, RN
Sheryl Jacobson, MS, RN 
Viterbo School of Nursing 

Evidence-based practice 

  • Background: One-half of all adults have more than one chronic disease, and this prevalence accounts for seven of every 10 deaths each year. Seventy-five percent of health care costs are related to chronic illness. 
  • Significance: The project was an academic and community partnership funded by the Healthier Wisconsin Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Partners included Viterbo University School of Nursing, Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, four local health departments and one free medical clinic. A review of the literature provided information and about best practice for conducting community needs assessment and building community coalitions. 
  • Purpose/objective: This evidence based project sought to impact morbidity and mortality through increased disease prevention and health promotion activities in the population of uninsured and medically underserved citizens in communities in four Western Wisconsin counties. 
  • Methods/project: Student and public health nurses conducted needs assessments, analyzed data, and developed community coalitions to identify local health needs in each of the four counties. 
  • Results: Chronic Disease Community Coalitions analyzed the community needs assessment data and identified priority health needs and health improvement interventions to inform capacity building. Health improvement interventions were implemented and informed capacity building in each of the four mostly rural counties. 

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