The Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition (MLHC) was founded to increase collaboration between organizations and community members and, using a holistic approach, improve Latino health. The MLHC founding organizations are:
- CORE/El Centro and
- Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic.
Walker’s Point leadership recognized a need for true collaboration among the Latino-serving agencies, government and hospitals. They wanted agencies to move from networking into sharing resources and creating collective vision. They gave this charge to Proyecto Salud, which then brought the MLHC to fruition.
February 22, 2007
The first MLHC meeting was an overwhelming success! Over 80 people from all levels of our community (healthcare, community organizations, legislators, schools, churches, and individuals) attended. Feedback from this meeting directed MLHC to focus on the following areas for the benefit of the health and well being of Latinos in Milwaukee:
- Information sharing
- Knowledge and education
- Opportunities to network and collaborate.
The MLHC Steering Committee was established and work on the strategic plan began!
Participants of the MLHC identified ten areas of interest affecting Latino health in Milwaukee and then selected three as priority areas:
- Access to Health Care
- Preventive Education
- Supporting the Health Promoters.
These areas of interest became the first MLHC Action Teams!
The MLHC Steering Committee was selected to participate in a one-year Community Teams Program sponsored by the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute. During that year, MLHC Steering worked to better understand the underlying social determinants of health in Milwaukee and identify ways for the MLHC to improve.
MLHC membership chose to address immigration specifically, and the Steering Committee hosted a forum entitled “Is Immigration a Health Care Issue?” The forum fostered awareness of the negative impacts that immigration status, socio-economic status, and social isolation have on health. It served as a spring board to creating the Immigration Action Team.
The Immigration Action Team had their first meeting. Their goal is to confront and alleviate the negative impact immigration policies have on the lives of Milwaukee Latinos.
On July 19th, the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition welcomed Milwaukee City Health Commissioner Bevan Baker to their new office in the Council for the Spanish Speaking Hillview Building. The MLHC engaged the Health Commissioner in a conversation about budget cuts and his vision to improve the health of Latinos in Milwaukee.
CORE/El Centro has been the fiscal agent for the MLHC since its founding in 2007. As of 2012, the Council for the Spanish Speaking will assume this role. The MLHC continues to expand its leadership, involve Latinos in taking action to address their needs for health and well being, and utilize the hard work and dedication of it’s members to carry out the mission and create change.