About the Regional Milwaukee Office
Our Motto: Meet the people where they are.
At the heart of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute’s (WAI) Regional Milwaukee Office is community engagement centered on five integrated mission pillars: community outreach, professional education, advocacy, service, and research. This model empowers the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin communities of color, primarily African Americans, to actively participate by providing culturally-specific health care services for its aging populations affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health disparities. The WAI draws upon the expertise and resources of the University of Wisconsin, faith and community-based professional organizations, and health care systems to develop and implement solution-based programs and services.
Our model serves as a catalyst for the creation and strengthening of dementia and Alzheimer’s research, programs, and services, while reducing health disparities that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Did you know? Communities of color have a substantially higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
African Americans are nearly two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than white Americans. Latinos are one and one-half times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other dementia than white Americans. And both populations use substantially more hospital, physician and home-health care services, while incurring significantly higher costs for those services. Despite this public health crisis, communities of color continue to be under-diagnosed and under-represented in health initiatives studying Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.
The Regional Milwaukee Office works to provide awareness, education, outreach, and understanding of these significant health disparities facing communities of color.
Recognizing the emerging public health crisis Alzheimer’s disease poses on communities of color, the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute developed an outreach program in Milwaukee in 2008, with the support of Bader Philanthropies and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.
Today, the WAI Regional Milwaukee Office reaches more than 30,000 individuals and households each year. We foster partnerships to deliver culturally-appropriate education, training and outreach programs to providers, people living with dementia, and family caregivers. Our efforts focus on dementia-related early detection or risk reduction, treatment, psycho-social management, and caregiver interventions. Our professional training offers state-of-the-art education around best practices to provide culturally-sensitive care to patients and effectively address community and family needs.
Learn more about how we serve the community:
Milw Office handout – Overview (opens as a pdf)
Addressing Dispairities in Alzheimer’s Disease and African-American Participation in Research: An Asset-Based Community Development Approach, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, May 2019