Wisconsin Express

In partnership with communities across the state, AHEC has coordinated the award-winning Wisconsin Express program since the mid 1990s. This program gives undergraduate and graduate health professions students a unique opportunity to become immersed in Wisconsin’s diverse communities and cultures, while they explore health care delivery and public health in medically underserved areas, learning with and from students in other disciplines.

This program emphasizes the following Core Topic Areas:

  • Interprofessional Education: Supports a coordinated, patient-centered model of health care that involves an understanding of the contributions of multiple health care professionals (also known as interdisciplinary training).
  • Social Determinants of Health: Includes the five key areas (determinants) of economic stability, education, social and community context, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environment, and their impact on health.
  • Cultural Competency: Seeks to improve individual health and build healthy communities by training health care providers to recognize and address the unique culture, language and health literacy of diverse consumers and communities.

“I participated in one of the week-long programs in Wood and Clark Counties with the Amish and Mennonite communities and it was amazing! I still refer to what I learned in this program all the time. I highly recommend this program!” –Past WI Express Participant

Summer 2022 WI Express

In Summer 2022, we welcome the return of our in-person WI Express program! Experience communities in Wisconsin and learn firsthand from community members and health practitioners in these multi-day, immersive excursions. Additional details below program descriptions.

Applications have closed for Summer 2022.

 

Native American Culture & Rural Health Care | Ashland
May 15-19, 2022 (arrive evening of 15th)

See a wide variety of rural health care settings, including women’s health, midwifery, acute care, public health, tribal clinics, and others. You will also hear presentations from a diverse group of practitioners as they discuss the challenges and rewards of working in rural health in far northern Wisconsin, as well as culturally appropriate care for Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) populations. Available spots: 10

Indigenous Communities & Cultures | Northwoods
May 17-20, 2022 (arrive afternoon of 17th)

Become immersed in Wisconsin’s indigenous communities and cultures by exploring health care and public health care delivery in rural areas, health-related tribal policy, and social determinants of health/prosperity. During the three-day session, hear from content-expert presenters from different tribes in Wisconsin and other local community organizations, all while learning with and from fellow students in differing health professions programs. Available spots: 12

Native American, Hispanic, & Vulnerable Populations | Green Bay
May 22-27, 2022 (arrive evening of 22nd)

See health from the perspective of Native American cultures (i.e., Oneida nation), the Hispanic community, and challenges of vulnerable populations including homeless and uninsured. Small group activities include interactions with providers serving these diverse populations, as well as a service-learning opportunity. Available spots: 6

Incarceration | Lancaster
May 22-27, 2022 (arrive evening of 22nd)

Explore incarceration healthcare first-hand through visits to maximum and minimum state prisons and county jail. In addition, you will get to know rural Grant and Crawford counties and the effect of their income and geography on health and access to healthcare. Throughout the week, you will hear from community members, healthcare practitioners, and public health professionals. Available spots: 6

Rural & Underserved Communities | Monroe County
May 22-27, 2022 (arrive evening of 22nd)

Gain knowledge about the unique barriers faced by rural, underserved communities across Monroe County by engaging with organizations serving Amish, Hispanic, homeless, refugee, uninsured/underinsured, and veteran populations. Learn how social determinants of health, interprofessional collaboration, and cultural awareness impact the work of rural professionals through a public health lens. Available spots: 6

Urban Communities | Milwaukee
May 22-27, 2022 (arrive evening of 22nd)

Learn about Milwaukee’s Latino, African American, and Hmong communities as you explore health care disparities and meet providers working to address these disparities. Visit a variety of health care settings and community organizations to examine topics such as poverty, lack of access to health care, homelessness, language barriers, and AODA issues. Available spots: 12

Latinx Community | Beloit
May 23-26, 2022

Explore health disparities locally and globally while learning about health care programs and services available. Focusing on the Latinx community, we unearth barriers this population faces in rural and urban areas and gain a deeper understanding of the Latinx culture, history, and traditions. Available spots: 6

Muslim Community | Appleton
May 23-27, 2022

Learn about Muslim culture and religious requirements in health care settings, including physical, nutritional, communication, health, gender-based, and end-of-life needs. Activities include trying traditional foods, visiting a halal grocery store, attending a religious service at the Islamic Center of Wisconsin, and sharing your questions with our partners in the Muslim community. Available spots: 8

Aging, Veterans, & Chronic Illness and Clark County Amish/Mennonite Cultures | VIRTUAL
May 22-25, 2022 (begin evening of 22nd)

This three-day online cultural immersion focuses on both Aging, Veterans and Chronic Illness populations as well as the Amish/Mennonite communities of rural Clark County. Explore the unique needs of these communities, learn from health professionals and consumers alike who provide first-hand knowledge of their experiences, and take part in interdisciplinary discussions about cultural considerations and service delivery. Hear from a wide range of health professionals and researchers from aging and disability centers, health systems, veteran services, educational institutions, rural agricultural programs, public health, and alternative health services accessed by rural and underserved populations. Available spots: 25

Details:

  • The program fee is $150 for in-person session, which includes housing, most meals, and transportation between locations during the program. The program fee for the virtual session is $25.
  • Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the session’s location. Carpooling with other participants is common.
  • As we work with vulnerable populations, many of the in-person locations we will visit require proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Some partner sites may additionally require that you take a COVID-19 rapid test prior to entering the facility (test provided). Not being fully vaccinated may affect your ability to participate in in-person sessions.

Credit Option:
May 16-June 12

We are offering a one-credit online course open to all students participating in this program. The course will be administered through UW-Madison. Additional assignments will be given in addition to the regular WI Express programming to meet the 45-hour requirement for a credit.

Additional information:

  • Taking this credit is required for UW-Madison Global Health students to count WI Express as their field experience.
  • Accepted students will be given permission to enroll in NUTR SCI 421.
  • Credit counts toward Summer 2022 course load.
  • UW-Madison Summer 2022 tuition rates apply.
  • Students at universities outside of UW-Madison need to apply to be a UW-Madison special student and have the responsibility of determining how to transfer credit back to their home institution.
  • All coursework is administered through Canvas, an online digital learning environment.
  • The course includes a WI Express session during the weeks of May 15th or May 22nd and an additional three asynchronous weeks with assignment deadlines through June 12th.

Spring Break 2022 Virtual WI Express

Latinx Community | Virtual
March 14-17, 2022

Participants gain opportunities to explore health disparities locally and globally while learning about health care programs and services available. Focusing on the Latinx community; unearthing barriers this population faces in rural and urban areas and gaining a deeper understanding of the Latinx culture, history and traditions. Available spots: 25

Gerontology | Virtual
March 14-16, 2022

Northwest Wisconsin is aging at rates faster than most of the country and the state of Wisconsin due to ‘Brain Drain’ and retirees moving to the region. This site will explore gerontology, dementia care and their careers and services associated with this demographic. Available spots: 20

Aging, Veterans, and Chronic Illness | Virtual
March 20-23, 2022

This session will focus on caring for an elderly population, many of whom are veterans, have mental health disorders, or have chronic diseases. Students will interact with hospitals/clinics, public health departments, aging and disability resource centers, nursing homes, and mental health/rehabilitation facilities. Students will also learn about the impact of an aging health care workforce and the ever-growing need for health care professionals in rural and underserved areas. Available spots: 30

Participation fee is $25 (fee is waived for AHEC Scholars)

Applications have closed for Spring Break 2022

Credit Option
March 7-April 17

We are offering a one-credit online course open to all students participating in this program. The course will be administered through UW-Madison. Additional assignments will be given in addition to the regular WI Express programming to meet the 45-hour requirement for a credit.

Additional information:

  • Taking this credit is required for UW-Madison Global Health students to count WI Express as their field experience
  • Junior or Senior standing or graduate-level required to take the course for credit
  • Accepted students will be given permission to enroll in the course
  • Credit counts toward spring semester 2022 course load
  • UW-Madison spring 2022 tuition rates apply
  • Students at universities outside of UW-Madison need to apply to be a UW-Madison special student and have the responsibility of determining how to transfer credit back to their home institution
  • All coursework is administered through Canvas, an online digital learning environment
  • The course includes the core WI Express program (March 13-17, March 14-16, or March 20-23) and an additional five asynchronous weeks with assignment deadlines through April 17th

Winter 2022 Virtual WI Express
January 10-14, 2022

Take a virtual tour around the state of Wisconsin and explore the unique cultures and communities of each of our seven regions. Connect with community leaders and fellow health professions students from around Wisconsin in an engaging live virtual format.

Topics in the Winter 2022 Virtual Program include:

  • Cultural Safety
  • Indigenous Culture and Health
  • Homelessness
  • Hmong Culture and Health Practices
  • Incarceration
  • Behavioral Health and African Americans
  • Hispanic/Immigrant Populations

Program fee: $25 (fee is waived for AHEC Scholars)

Program times: The program will run 9:00am-3:30pm January 10-14, 2022.

Applications have closed for Winter 2022

Credit Option
January 10-30, 2022
New this year is the option to incorporate the WI Express program into a one-credit course offered through UW-Madison. In addition to the core program, the course includes a number of assignments designed to reflect and expand on your experience.

Additional information:

  • Taking this credit is required for UW-Madison Global Health students to count WI Express as their field experience
  • Junior or Senior standing or graduate-level required to take the course for credit
  • Accepted students will be given permission to enroll in the course
  • Credit counts toward spring semester 2022 course load
  • UW-Madison spring 2022 tuition rates apply
  • Students at universities outside of UW-Madison have the responsibility of determining how to transfer credit back to their home institution
  • All coursework is administered through Canvas, an online digital learning environment
  • The course includes the core WI Express program from Jan 10-14 and an additional two weeks of asynchronous work with assignment deadlines through January 30th (live attendance is required Jan 10-14, but there will be no additional live instruction Jan 15-30)

CONTACT

AHEC Program Manager, Katie Freeman
kmfreeman2@wisc.edu