Community Service: Mark Lyday

Health Care Heroes


Community Service: Mark Lyday
Former director of Child Advocacy and Protection Services
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin


Mark Lyday, former director of Child Advocacy and Protection Services at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, has spent more than 30 years advocating for new ways to treat and prevent child abuse in our community.

He is a pioneer of the Children’s Advocacy Center model, which brings together law enforcement, criminal justice, child protective services, victim advocacy services, and medical and mental health professionals in one convenient location for community members. Lyday founded one of the first child advocacy centers in Wisconsin, and through his role at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was able to administer seven additional centers, producing one of the largest child advocacy networks in the country.

In 2014, more than 5,000 families and children throughout the state were served through Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s child advocacy and protection centers.

“As we have grown and expanded these programs, it has allowed us to improve our response to situations and be more collaborative with local organizations in the communities we serve,” Lyday said. “The model really exemplifies the way it should be. A team, tackling the issues head-on, together.”

The model provides a more effective, multi-disciplinary approach to care, he said.

Most recently, Lyday spearheaded Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s partnership with Sojourner Family Peace Center and the development of its new 72,000-square-foot advocacy center in Milwaukee.

The project, the largest and most comprehensive family justice center in the nation, will serve domestic violence victims and their children. It will include a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Child Advocacy Center, a shelter, an education center, law enforcement professionals, the district attorney’s office, and Milwaukee Public Schools professionals.

The partnership will bring a new level of collaboration and communication to addressing the issues of domestic violence and child abuse in our community, and is expected to be operational by January 2016.

Since the summer, Lyday has been working with his successor, Connie Klick, former manager of the Fox Valley Child Advocacy Center. The two will continue to work together during the transition, and Lyday will officially retire in early January.

“It’s time for someone else’s vision to lead this organization,” Lyday said. “These centers are truly a laboratory. We continue to grow and adapt in order to provide the kind of services our community needs.”

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