Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment Recognizes Outstanding Achievements with Six Excellence Awards

Funded partners honored for collaboration, transformation, and health equity.

Milwaukee, Wis. – July 3, 2024 – The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) awarded six 2024 Excellence Awards to funded partners in the categories of collaboration, transformation, and health equity at the organization’s recent Advancing Health for ALL Wisconsin Conference held in Green Bay.

Two awards were given for each category — one for work led by a Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) researcher and one for community-led health improvement efforts.

The following awards reflect individuals and organizations whose AHW-funded initiatives notably contributed to advancing health and well-being in Wisconsin. Download the corresponding pictures at: AHW award winner photos.


  • Excellence in Community Partnership Award

N.E.W. Mental Health Connection | Fox Valley

Healthy Teen Minds and Project Zero focused on mental health and suicide prevention

Photo Caption: N.E.W. Mental Health Connection Executive Director Beth Clay accepts AHW’s Excellence in Community Partnership Award ©Adam Shea Photography

  • Collaborative Research Excellence Award

Melinda Stolley, PhD

Projects aiming to reduce cancer disparities in Wisconsin

Photo Caption: MCW Cancer Center Associate Director of Population Sciences Research Melinda Stolley, PhD, accepts AHW’s Research Excellence Award ©Adam Shea Photography


  • Community Impact Award

Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. | Madison

Improved patient safety and health outcomes statewide by standardizing and simplifying prescription medication labels

Photo Caption: Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., Retired Executive Director Michele Erikson, accepts AHW’s Community Impact Award ©Adam Shea Photography

  • Translational Research Excellence Award

John Meurer, MD, MBA

Led more than 20 AHW-funded efforts to improve health in Wisconsin

Photo Caption: MCW Professor and Division of Community Health Director John Meurer, MD, MBA, accepts AHW’s Translational Research Excellence Award ©Adam Shea Photography

Health Equity:

  • Community Health Equity Advancement Award

United Community Center | Milwaukee

Effectively improved health outcomes in Wisconsin’s Latino communities through training, education, and interventions

Photo Caption: United Community Center Director of Health Research Al Castro and Program Manager Ana Castaneda accept AHW’s Community Health Equity Advancement Award ©Adam Shea Photography

  • Academic Health Equity Advancement Award

Joan Neuner, MD, MPH

Addressing Wisconsin’s persistent health disparities through a statewide partnership with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

“Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment funding is meant to propel the most promising work and ideas to improve lives in Wisconsin,” said AHW Director Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH. “Our 2024 Excellence Award winners demonstrate the power of our collaborative health philanthropy model to support health in communities throughout our state.”

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About the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment

The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) is Wisconsin’s largest health improvement philanthropy. AHW was established by the Medical College of Wisconsin to steward a generous financial gift from Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin. Since 2004, AHW has invested more than $338 million in 643 health research, workforce development, and community health initiatives statewide. Learn more at


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