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Aurora Health Care has announced grant awards of $3.4 million through its Better Together Fund. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside, in partnership with Carthage College, Gateway Technical College, and Women & Children's Horizons Inc., was among nearly two dozen community organizations, colleges and universities to receive funding that will be used to support the development and expansion of community-based sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs.
"Aurora Health Care is proud to be working hand-in-hand with these dedicated community-based providers throughout eastern Wisconsin to help stem the tide of domestic violence and sexual assault," said Nick Turkal, M.D. and CEO of Aurora Health Care. "Aurora has never shied away from difficult conversations and community concerns. While we've been championing efforts to put an end to domestic and sexual violence for more than 25 years, we know that there is still much work to be done and that – together – we can make a tangible difference."
The four Kenosha County organizations, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Carthage College, Gateway Technical College, and Women & Children's Horizons, Inc., will receive $407,750 to help create and provide a consistent, cohesive approach to sexual violence awareness and victim services.
UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said the support of Aurora Health Care will enable the community partners to better serve those suffering from domestic violence and sexual assault. "Unfortunately, there are many victims in each case of domestic violence or sexual assault," Ford said. "Working with our partners at Women & Children's Horizons, Carthage, and Gateway, we have the opportunity to build programs that help all those affected by abuse."
Earlier this year, community organizations from across eastern Wisconsin were invited to submit proposals for funding consideration to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, which is aiding in the administration of the grants. "We are honored to partner with our community on such an important issue," said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. "Combating domestic violence and sexual assault is critical to the health of our citizens and ultimately our community."
In April, Aurora announced a total of $6.6 million in grants to nearly two dozen federally qualified health centers and free clinics to improve access to primary care and behavioral health services. The additional grants of $3.4 million to support sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs are the final awards through Aurora Health Care's Better Together Fund.
Dr. Gregory Woodward, president of Carthage College, said the grant helps create a stronger partnership between local agencies and the campuses. "We all gain access to valuable training and other resources that can only boost awareness and prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault," he said.
Women and Children's Horizons Executive Director Beth Ballo sees the campus-community connection as vital for victims seeking access to sexual assault services. "Women and Children's Horizons has partnered with Aurora, Carthage, Gateway and UW-Parkside for several years on prevention and intervention," she said. "The Aurora Better Together Fund allows for cohesive and collaborative approaches to strengthen our community response. Women and Children's Ho6rizons will provide training for students and staff as well as enhanced access to advocacy services. We are honored to be a part of this effort."
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, 159 clinics, 70 pharmacies and 30,000 amazing Caregivers. For more information on the Better Together Fund, visit AuroraHealthCare.org.