2013 Global Vision Award Winners

The WHA Foundation has selected PALS Mentoring and PALS 4 Good Programs, nominated by Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital; and the Neighborhood School Health Initiative, nominated by Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin, as the recipients of the 2013 Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

The "People Actively Linked with Students" (PALS) mentoring program was established in 2003 by Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital through their Crawford Abuse Resistance Effort (CARE) program and a Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grant. The primary goal of the PALS program is to promote successful, safe and healthy students. The curriculum focuses on six pillars of character education: respect, responsibility, caring, fairness, trustworthiness and citizenship. The program matches high school students with at-risk elementary youth for the purpose of engaging young people in healthy decision making. Initially piloted in the Prairie du Chien school district, PALS has grown to also provide prevention, health and wellness services in three other school districts in Crawford County. In 2005, the PALS 4 Good summer camps began when it became evident that a school year-only program was not sufficient to meet the varied needs of the second through fifth grade target population. In 2011, based on community health needs assessment results, the PALS program added an educational focus on childhood obesity and inactivity. Surveys conducted with parents, teachers and PALS mentors illustrate that mentees benefit by demonstrating healthier relationships, lifestyle choices, better attitude about school, enhanced self-esteem, improved behavior at home and school, improved interpersonal skills and a decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use. High school mentors report increased self-esteem, a sense of accomplishment, increased patience, and improved supervisory skills that will benefit them in future career choices.

The "Neighborhood School Health Initiative" is a collaboration, launched in 2006, of Froedtert Hospital; Westside Academies, a Milwaukee Public School (MPS) K-8 charter school; and Progressive Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center. The initiative provides a variety of health and wellness programs to roughly 700 students and their families annually. Froedtert employs a full-time school nurse to provide student nursing care, care management and health education during the school year. The initiative works with Progressive Community Health Center for primary medical home referrals, dental care access and immunization services. MPS provides equipment, nursing staff support and opportunities for continuing nursing education. During the 2012-2013 academic year, the initiative provided over 1,200 health visits with students and led a series of health education sessions with students, parents and staff. These efforts resulted in a 96 percent return-to-class rate (versus being sent home) and 100 percent immunization compliance for children in grades K-5. In addition, dental sealant services were coordinated with an attendance rate of more than 90 percent. The school principal attests that the initiative has "literally changed the culture of the school." Where students would have previously spent much time out of class—often for minor health concerns—the initiative has been able to keep more students in class and provide closer communication between their parents and physicians.

The WHA Foundation’s Global Vision Community Partnership Award was created in 1995 to recognize the efforts of WHA members in meeting the documented health needs in their communities through creativity, innovation, partnership and collaboration. To date, the Award has honored 34 innovative programs in communities throughout Wisconsin.