What We Do
Our mission is to ensure Wisconsin children are healthy, safe and able to thrive. As Wisconsin’s voice for children’s health, we are an advocate for families and a catalyst for creating healthier communities. The Alliance is housed within Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and guided by a volunteer advisory board that represents organizations statewide.
What We Do
The Alliance develops innovative child health initiatives in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and implements programs proven to impact access and outcomes. Our work is guided by national and statewide priorities defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Alliance Advisory Board.
In Wisconsin, there are many issues impacting children’s health. On average, one infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly each week. Nearly 1 in 5 children have a special health care need. And more than half of Wisconsin children experience dental disease by age 9. Whether it’s preventing injuries or improving access to care, the Alliance works to change systems, influence policy and implement best practices to help children grow to their full potential.
Build and lead coalitions
Influence public policy
Advocate for quality services and access for all children
Mobilize people around our key initiatives
Provide education, training and support
Improving Children’s Health in Wisconsin
Children don’t have a say in the policies and programs that impact their lives. To be healthy, safe and able to thrive, they need trusted advocates working on their behalf. In 1994, the State of Wisconsin expressed the need for a non-governmental entity to focus on children’s health issues that were not being adequately addressed—especially for underserved populations.
In response to this need, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and American Family Children’s Hospital united to create Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin.
The Alliance began with three staff working to improve dental care for kids. Over the years, the Alliance proved itself as an effective coalition builder, policy influencer and program facilitator. As new issues and opportunities emerged, the state, private funders, academic institutions and community partners entrusted the Alliance with additional grants and programs.
25 Years and Counting
Twenty-five years later, the Alliance has grown to seven initiatives, more than 10 programs and 24 staff members. We have offices in Milwaukee and Madison, and we regularly travel to every corner of the state. Thanks to our extensive network of more than 1,000 state and national partners, the Alliance has:
- Influenced legislation to expand oral hygiene services statewide
- Created an infant safe sleep training curriculum for home visitors and child care providers
- Impacted 1 in 6 children younger than age 6 living in poverty
As we look forward to our next 25 years, we will continue to prioritize partnerships and collaboration as the keys to improving child health.
The Alliance carries out our mission through seven initiatives focusing on different aspects of children’s health. Each initiative was brought under the Alliance in order to efficiently and effectively address an unmet need. Most initiatives were developed at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and were enhanced by the Alliance’s efforts to obtain additional grants and partners. The Early Literacy Initiative was developed through a collaboration between American Family Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.