Ascension Wisconsin gifts $250,000 to Sherman Park homeowners cooperative

Last updated on October 29th, 2021 at 02:07 pm

Ascension Wisconsin said it is investing $250,000 in a new cooperative focused on increasing homeownership in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood.

The gift will support the Sherman Park Homeowners Advancement Cooperative, which is focused on increasing access to safe and affordable housing in the north side neighborhood.

The Glendale-based health system, which operates Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – St. Joseph Campus in Sherman Park, said the investment reflects its goal of providing “health beyond health care” by addressing social determinants of health.

Ascension cited a report by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement that found health care accounts for 20% of a person’s overall health, and the remaining 80% is dependent on socioeconomic, physical environment and health behavior factors.

In Sherman Park, 80% of the population is African American and 32% of families live in poverty.

“There is a strong relationship between housing, one’s physical environment, and health. Ascension Wisconsin is committed to creating collaborative relationships to address our community’s most pressing health challenges,” said Reggie Newson, chief community impact and advocacy officer for Ascension Wisconsin. “Social inequities play a significant role in shaping health disparities. Going outside our hospital walls and making investments to improve health equity is vital to improving the well-being and vibrancy of our community.”

The cooperative is a new organization that is owned and managed by its members, said SPHAC executive director Darrol Gibson.

“Our mission is to serve all residents and to collaborate with existing agencies and organizations to sustain and build on the shared strengths of all working together. Our vision is to empower current homeowners as the key investors in a healthy neighborhood,” Gibson said.

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.