The Next Step Clinic project is the winner of a $250,000 President's Challenge grant from Marquette University and the Johnson Controls Foundation.
The recipient of the grant was announced during Marquette University president Michael Lovell's annual presidential address event on Wednesday by Grady Crosby, vice president of public affairs and chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls.
[caption id="attachment_367253" align="alignright" width="420"] At the 2018 BizTimes Milwaukee Nonprofit Excellence Awards program, Amy and Mike Lovell participated in a panel discussion on the impact of trauma on Milwaukee's lower income communities.[/caption]
The challenge, a partnership of Marquette and the Johnson Controls Foundation, awards $250,000 to an interdisciplinary collaborative proposal to address inequities in Milwaukee neighborhoods.
This year’s winner is a proposal to develop a clinic that would serve Milwaukee children and families struggling with mental health and developmental concerns. The project, called the Next Step Clinic, proposes using an empty space at The Next Door Foundation’s headquarters in the Metcalfe Park neighborhood.
The clinic will seek out and serve Milwaukee families adversely affected by racial and socioeconomic health disparities, with a focus on families that have been experienced adverse childhood experiences, trauma and developmental delays, according the university.
True Love Outreach Center, the MIRACLE Network and Milwaukee Area Technical College will also offer space for mental and developmental health screenings and educational sessions to form a city-wide referral pipeline for the Next Step Clinic, under the proposal. The clinic will also serve as a training site for graduate students.
The proposal was submitted by the Milwaukee Coalition for Children’s Mental Health, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MIRACLE Network, Next Door Foundation, True Love Baptist Ministries, and Milwaukee Succeeds Kindergarten Readiness Partnership/United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties. The proposal is led by Amy Van Hecke, Marquette associate professor of psychology, along with nursing, education, counseling psychology, computer science, communication, psychology, speech pathology and audiology faculty members.
“The Next Step Clinic is a truly inter-disciplinary, collaborative idea that will provide a centrally located site for comprehensive, trauma-informed evaluation, assessment and treatment of mental and developmental health conditions of Milwaukee children and their caregivers,” Lovell said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Johnson Controls Foundation, the Next Step Clinic will help bridge the gap between families and service providers, providing a unique response to the pressing issue of health disparities in our city. As someone who experienced childhood trauma myself, I know firsthand just how important these types of services are, and I’m thrilled that so many organizations have come together to be a part of the solution.”
Michael Lovell and his wife Amy have helped spearhead an effort, called Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee, over the past year to raise awareness of the effects of trauma on the Milwaukee community. They were recently recognized as the BizTimes Best in Business 2018 Community Leaders of the Year for those efforts.