Transformational Times
Words of Hope, Character & Resilience from our Virtual Community
Friday, January 21, 2022
In This Special Urban and Community Health Issue :
Associate Director's Corner


Poetry Corner
Your Turn

Upcoming Events/Announcements
Associate Director's Corner

We Belong to One Another: A Lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Cassie Ferguson, MD

In these comments that were delivered as part of MCW’s 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Event, Dr. Ferguson describes that systemic transformation is only possible when we acknowledge our interconnectedness. She gives an example of a group of MCW students who are role models of being our best selves …

In the letter he wrote from a Birmingham jail—the letter that began in the margins of a smuggled newspaper and on found scraps of paper—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared this: “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be—this is the interrelatedness of life.”

How the Urban and Community Health Pathway Has Informed My Residency

By Haley Bodette, MD

Dr. Bodette, an MCW-Milwaukee alumna and current resident in family medicine, writes about how her experiences as a student in MCW’s Urban and Community Health pathway have shaped how she sees patients now, allowing her to intentionally elicit each patient’s narrative and knowing, when needed, how best to work with interpreters …

When I was starting my medical education at MCW, I knew it was likely that I would end up in a primary care specialty. Public health intrigued me, and preventative healthcare was an approach that just made sense in my mind. When it came time to pick a pathway, Urban and Community Health (UCH) seemed like an obvious choice. How could I help my patients on an individual level without having a baseline understanding of the community that they come from?

Hot Cheetos & Warm Memories: Reflections on Ten Years in Community Nutrition Education

By Bryan Johnston, MD

A former MCW student-turned-faculty member reflects on the impact of the Urban & Community Health Pathway on his career trajectory as a community-engaged physician, and that of the students he currently mentors …

“Go To the Community Without an Ask”

Oh, to be a first-year student at MCW again! That sense of unlimited possibility, the doors opening all around you and the possibility of your entire life-changing in the space of a conversation, a shadowing session, or a community site visit. I remember wanting, within it all, to make a mark.

I joined the Urban & Community Health Pathway and began to learn about Milwaukee, my new home. I learned about the “What, Why, and How” of health disparities, models and innovations, resources, and strengths: what has worked, what has not, what might be possible. Used to identifying and rapidly attempting to solve problems, I began to absorb from mentors like Dr. David Nelson and Dr. Linda Meurer the slower and richer approach of Community Engagement. “Go to the community without an ask,” I was told.

Building a Hybrid Model of Birthing Support for Black Families

By Elisha Jaeke, BS and Jessica Olson, PhD, MPH

A first-year medical student’s search for mentorship led to learning from one of Milwaukee’s best – Ms. Dalvery Blackwell, Lactation Consultant and Co-Founder of the African American Breastfeeding Network …

During my first week of medical school, I began the all too familiar process of cold emailing. Having spent the past year working in public health and community outreach in Oakland, CA, I was now blindly seeking mentorship and opportunities to connect with the Milwaukee community. Dr. Jessica Olson immediately stood out as someone I could learn a lot from. Serving as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Community Health within the Institute for Health and Equity, Dr. Olson wears many hats. When we met, though, it became evident that she was most excited about her work with community partners. After describing my desire to work toward health equity and interest in the field of Maternal and Child Health, a smile lit up her face as she exclaimed, “You need to meet Ms. Blackwell!”

Remembering our Humanity

By David Nelson, PhD, MS

Dr. Nelson, who works with marginalized people in Milwaukee, writes about the experience of spending the day with young physicians as they first care for—and learn from—the homeless …

Low clouds and thirty-five degrees threaten rain. Halfway through our day, the rain begins slowly and then, steadily. Not a downpour, but light and misty. It blends in with the air. Heavier than a fog, but still the kind of weather that will soak through in time. Standing out in such weather—and with each exhalation—the breath blends in with the air and rises upwards. Still, there are people out on the streets.

The Mission of the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured

By Thomas Ritter

Mr. Ritter, a fourth-year medical student, describes the work of the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured and how it has impacted both the community and his own life …

As a fourth-year medical student who has finished his residency interviews, I find myself truly startled at the amount of free time I have. In addition to savoring every possible moment of my freedom before residency starts, I’ve begun to reflect on my time at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The highlight of my experience has undoubtedly been working at the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured (SCU). SCU is a student-run free clinic for patients without health insurance that operates at the intersection of North and Humboldt on, you guessed it, Saturdays. In addition to a name that is quite “on the nose,” SCU has been a staple of the Milwaukee community for over twenty years. Our mission is to provide comprehensive, patient-centered, and equitable care to Milwaukee’s uninsured population.

Peers Supporting Mental Health: Inside the Minds of SPO* Leaders

By Cassandra Balson, BS; Justin York, BS; Marissa O'Hair, BS and Margaret Lieb, MS

Combatting mental illness and suicide prevention is no small task. Seeking Peer Outreach* (SPO*) is a peer support program developed to reduce the stigma, isolation, and improve education surrounding mental health. In this issue, the authors reflect on how their past influenced their decision to become involved in SPO* and how they hope to see this program grow...

What is SPO*?
Seeking Peer Outreach* (SPO*) is a tiered, network-style peer support program initially introduced by Margaret “Meg” Lieb, a now third-year medical student from the Central Wisconsin campus. It was developed to emphasize the importance of mental health for all members of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), including faculty, staff, and students. Lieb envisioned SPO* as a uniting of the voices and ideas from across a multitude of roles and departments at MCW all focused on mental health and well-being.
Martin Luther King Jr.

A man went forth with gifts.

He was a prose poem.
He was a tragic grace.
He was a warm music.

He tried to heal the vivid volcanoes.
His ashes are
    reading the world.

His Dream still wishes to anoint
    the barricades of faith and of control.

His word still burns the center of the sun
    above the thousands and the
    hundred thousands.

The word was Justice. It was spoken.

So it shall be spoken.
So it shall be done.

For this week's reflection prompt, please answer the following question:

What is your favorite wellness activity or hobby?

KNN Discussion Series
Human Flourishing 2030: Flourishing in the Community

Imagine it’s 2030 and we live in a healthier world where healthcare learners, practitioners and patients are flourishing. What does that future look like, and what will it take to get there? In this discussion series, four sessions will examine external influences—micro to macro—that are shaping and driving the vitality of healthcare students, professionals and broader society over the next decade.
In this session, discover how flourishing can provide a framework for improving community health in ways that go beyond direct patient care. Sue Cox, MD; Zack Timmons, MD; and moderator Larry Speck, MArch, FAIA, will explore strategies for community health and well-being that span from curriculum design to local produce delivery. Audience Q&A will follow the main program.

January 25, 2022
Live Virtual Event
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
This series is presented by the Kern National Network for Caring & Character in Medicine through an investment from the Kern Family Trust and Kern Family Foundation.

AAMC Virtual Seminar: Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance

Please join us on Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2022, from 12-1:15 p.m. ET for a virtual seminar, "Legacy of Medicine During the Holocaust and its Contemporary Relevance."

Hedy S. Wald, PhD and Sabine Hildebrandt, MD, both commissioners of the Lancet Commission on Medicine and the Holocaust, will catalyze critical thinking on the relevance of the Holocaust for contemporary medicine. This seminar will help health care trainees and professionals reflect on their core values in the service of humanistic and ethically responsible patient care. Please consider offering a post-seminar discussion or other activity at your institution to extend the learning. A full agenda and sample extension activities for local use will be provided in advance of the seminar.

January 27, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 - 1:15 pm CT  
Join us for the January Kern Connection Cafe
Seeking Peer Outreach: An Integrated, Tiered Approach to Address Stigma and Isolation in Healthcare Education

Student Presenters: Meg Lieb, Marissa O’Hair, Justin York, and Cassandra Balson

Please join us for a student-led discussion that will focus on a student-led initiative to address mental health and promote suicide prevention among medical students at MCW. This presentation will describe the "Seeking Peer Outreach Initiative" currently underway at the Central Wisconsin Campus and its potential application to the MCW community at large, as well as in the communities we serve.  
Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for discussion with the panel members to explore practical strategies for adoption of the "Seeking Peer Outreach Initiative" in our varied settings.  

January 27, 2022
Zoom Presentation
4:00 - 5:00 pm CT  
Kaleidoscope Forum
Gender Roles: Overcoming Stereotypes

Facilitated by Abby M. Haak, MA and Libby Ellinas, MD

Gender expectations and assumptions affect all of us. Stereotypes can limit our sense of self and our belief in what we’re able to achieve. Join Kaleidoscope as they explore gender role socialization in today’s society. 

January 27, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 - 1:00 pm CT  
Call for Ideas Open
Transformational Ideas Initiative Program

Ideas should be focused on innovating medical education, including ideas for MCW’s School of Medicine Curriculum Redesign Project or ideas that would improve the learning environment at MCW.

All faculty, students, staff, residents and fellows are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, February 9, 2022.
Save the Date
MedMoth Rescheduled: Save the Date!

Please join us on March 2, 2022, at 6:30 pm in person and virtually for MedMoth: Storytelling Reflections on Medicine.

We will be holding a workshop on Thursday, February 17, 2022, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm led by Dr. Bruce Campbell. 
Join us for the February Kern Grand Rounds
Compassionate Caring: One Physician's Journey From Water Therapy to Green Hair

In medicine, caring and compassion can be expressed in many ways. As a resident, Dr. Margolis was exposed to the concept of "letting kids be kids" by one of his mentors who carried a squirt gun with him on rounds. This simple act of caring showed him that there are so many ways for a physician to incorporate compassionate care as a fabric of practicing medicine. 

Dr. Dave will share examples of how he has utilized his interests and network to "let kids be kids" and provide insight from the point of view of patients and families on why caring and compassion matter. 

February 24, 2022
Zoom Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT  

Submit Abstracts for Ottowa 2022

Ottawa 2022 is to be held at the Lyon Congress Centre, Lyon, France, from 26-28 August, immediately preceding AMEE 2022 as a hybrid, in person and virtual Conference. Plenaries and symposia will be live-streamed for online participants, who will have the opportunity to present in some formats remotely from their own time zone.
This international event provides the opportunity for all involved in the assessment of competence in medicine and the healthcare professions across the continuum of education, to come together to discuss the current status and future direction of assessment and evaluation. Never has there been a more challenging time, or a greater need for such discussions.

Submit by March 1, 2022 for Oral presentations, Conference workshops and ePosters.

Center for the AWSM- Women's History Month Symposium

Join us on March 1, 2022 for the following sessions:

  • 12:00 pm: AWSM’s opening plenary: Reimagining Gender Equity: Accelerating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Women in Medicine with Julie Silver, MD  
  • 1:30 pm: Being an Active Participant in Change: A Conversation on Intersectionality with Nikotris Perkins 
  • 3:00 pm – Panel: Mentoring Women Toward Careers in Research with Virtual Poster Presentation and Awards to Follow  

March 1, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 pm CT  
Join us on March 31, 2022 for the following sessions:

  • 12:00 pm: Administrative Professionals – Past, Present, & Future 
  • 2:00 pm: Strategies to Increase Your Publishing Success & Accelerate Promotion in Academic Medicine with Julie Silver, MD  
  • 4:00 pm: How to Make Science More Exciting and Accessible: Creating Compelling Scientific Figures and Graphs with Laura Flores, MD-PhD candidate 
March 31, 2022
Zoom Presentation
12:00 pm CT  
Save the Date
March Kern Grand Rounds with Reggie Jackson, BS

Reggie Jackson is a nationally heralded independent scholar and much sought-after speaker, researcher, writer, and consultant to the media on race relations.

 As a Milwaukee native, he will bring a unique perspective on not only the national, but more importantly, the local impact of how race relations shape the health of our city, and in turn how it impacts the patients we care for and the communities we serve.

Please save the date and watch for more information to come.

March 17, 20221
Zoom Presentation
9:00 - 10:00 am CT  
Save the Date
2022 Well-Being Summit
Proudly Sponsored by the Kern Institute

Save the date and plan to join us for the 2022 Well-Being Summit!
David Weill, MD, author of the book Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant will be providing the keynote address on the topic of burnout.
This event is open to all and anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to attend. Be on the lookout for details to come!
April 5, 2022
Virtual via Zoom
9:00 am - 12:00 pm CT  
Please email Joan Weiss with any questions.
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