First Lady Tonette Walker

Aurora announces initial grant recipients of Better Together Fund

BizTimes.com
Thursday, May 14, 2015

Aurora Health Care on Thursday announced that it is awarding a total of $6.6 million in grants through its Better Together Fund to nearly two dozen federally qualified health centers and free clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin. The funds will be used to help community-based providers improve access to primary care and behavioral health services.

First Lady Tonette Walker joined Aurora Health Care Thursday evening at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee for an award presentation. 

“Aurora Health Care is dedicated to helping the communities we serve to live well,” said Dr. Nick Turkal, president and chief executive officer. “Through our Better Together Fund, we’re proud to support like-minded organizations that are striving to create better access points to health care for all. Aurora is excited by the new and innovative projects of these amazing organizations, and we look forward to the many benefits they will provide to the people of Wisconsin.” 

Aurora Health Care has selected 21 community organizations – six federally qualified health centers and 15 free clinics – to share in the $6.6.million in grants from Aurora’s Better Together Fund. Community organizations from across eastern Wisconsin were invited to submit a proposal for funding consideration earlier this year to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, which is aiding in the administration of the grants. 

Grant recipients include the following: 

•AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, $100,000 to expand behavioral health services in Green Bay, Appleton, Milwaukee and Kenosha;
•Albrecht Free Clinic, Washington County, $80,000 to expand psychiatric care and social work services;
•Benedict Center, Milwaukee County, $100,000 to expand behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services for women in the criminal justice system;
•Bread of Healing Clinic, Milwaukee County, two separate grants totaling $200,000 to expand behavioral health services and increase access to primary care services;
•Catholic Charities, Milwaukee County, $65,000 to hire a bilingual behavioral health therapist;
•City on A Hill, Milwaukee County, two separate grants totaling $173,000 to renovate clinic space to increase primary care capacity and expand staffing for diabetes case management;
•CORE/El Centro, Milwaukee County, $100,000 to enhance integrative clinic services and expand access to primary care services;
•Health Care Network, Racine County, $100,000 to expand services to additional underserved people across Racine County;
•Kenosha Community Health Center, Kenosha County, $500,000 to purchase and staff a mobile clinic to provide primary care services in the City of Racine;
•Lake Area Free Clinic, Waukesha County, $94,794 to expand clinic programs related to primary care and behavioral health services;
•Lakeshore Community Health Center, Sheboygan County, two separate grants totaling $1,000,000 to acquire and equip building space for two new clinics in Sheboygan and Manitowoc; 
•Milwaukee Health Services, Milwaukee County, $431,295 to recruit and retain six additional health care providers;  
•Open Arms Free Clinic, Walworth County, $100,000 to expand behavioral health services to underserved residents;
•Outreach Community Health Center, Milwaukee County, $467,838 to upgrade existing clinic space and launch a behavioral health services pilot program;
•Penfield Children’s Center, Milwaukee County, $100,000 to support behavioral health services for toddlers and children;
•Progressive Community Health Centers, Milwaukee County, $1,700,000 to create two new sites to provide expanded access to primary and urgent health care services;
•Salvation Army - Wisconsin/Upper Michigan, Milwaukee County, $91,813 to hire a full-time mental health counselor to care for homeless individuals;
•Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Milwaukee County, two separate grants totaling $1,000,000 to expand behavioral health and primary health care facilities and services;
•United Community Center, Milwaukee County, $25,000 to expand and transition its health center to a collaborative partnership with Carroll University, allowing for training of future health professionals;
•UWM College of Nursing Free Clinic, Milwaukee, $85,453 to increase access to primary care services; and
•UW-Oshkosh Living Health Community Clinic, Winnebago County, two separate grants totaling $132,919 to extend clinic walk-in hours and expand behavioral health services.

The $6.6 million in grants for the expansion of primary care and behavioral health services are the first to be awarded through Aurora Health Care’s $10 million Better Together Fund. Later this year, Aurora Health Care will announce the recipients of additional grants specifically aimed at supporting sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs.