Since 2018, the medical home initiative has collaborated with Wisconsin’s Tribal Health Centers to advance family-centered care coordination for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). During 2023, our initiative worked with seven teams.

In 2023, each team developed a project idea based on a community-driven priority. Many chose to focus on mental health, nutrition or physical activity, and partnered with behavioral health departments, schools or community health staff. The powerful nature of this work is how responsive it is to each community, and each Tribal Health Center is empowered to develop programming that will create change they feel is the most impactful.

Teams indicated satisfaction with the community-driven approach plan and provided positive feedback. One team shared, “Thanks for offering such an opportunity to a fun, community-oriented project. I look forward to finishing this project and have many ideas for future projects!”

Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center focuses on children’s mental health
One example of a community-driven project comes from the Stockbridge-Munsee Health and Wellness Center in Bowler. A challenge/need they identified in their community was children’s mental health. According to Whitney Schreiber, maternal child health RN, children’s mental health is an important aspect of well-being that does not get nearly enough attention. Mental health is so interconnected with other aspects of health including the food we choose to eat and our motivation for physical activity. People of all ages can benefit from learning about different forms of stress relief – with art therapy being one of them.

Their project was to create a community mosaic mural to be displayed in the Community Health waiting room. Children, youth and their families were able to paint a canvas tile using colors that represent their mood (feelings) at different community events. The canvas tiles will eventually be placed together to form a mosaic mural. Staff will paint a black Many Trails sign over the mural. The Many Trails sign is an original symbol created in 1965 by Stockbridge-Munsee tribal member, Edwin Martin, symbolizing the tribe’s many moves from the ancestral home in the East, and eventually Wisconsin. It also is a symbol representing their endurance, strength and hope.

Mosaic mural to symbolize community
When completed, the mural will symbolize the individual uniqueness that comes together to form a community. In the process, their hope is to bring attention to mental health, forms of self-expression and stress relief, as well as the importance of family togetherness.

We look forward to seeing the finished mural!

Written by:
Colleen Lane
Program Manager, Medical Home