Medical schools address health disparities in Wisconsin

UW-Madison campus
WISC-TV/Channel3000.com

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s two medical schools are collaborating on a study addressing health disparities in the state.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin will use $3 million in endowment money to measure and recommend solutions for health inequities, which have been underscored by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality is a consortium of state health systems and hospitals. The collaborative in 2020 found low rates of colon cancer screening and HPV vaccination in some rural areas and low rates of childhood vaccinations and depression screening in some urban neighborhoods.

Blacks in Wisconsin have higher rates of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases than other groups, and poorer outcomes for stroke, diabetes and asthma, stemming in part from more poverty and less education, according to the state Department of Health Services, the State Journa l reported.

“By supporting a collaboration of this magnitude — between academic centers, health systems and payers — we aim to bring forward new solutions that will reduce inequities in health and positively impact those who have been underserved and marginalized,” said Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, senior associate dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Differences are also seen in coronavirus vaccination rates, with 27.5% of Blacks, about 34% of American Indians, 37.6% of Hispanics, 47.4% of whites and 50.8% of Asians statewide having received at least one dose as of Friday.