MKE Elevate: A Community Health Improvement Plan

Welcome to MKE Elevate, a community-driven agenda for elevating the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents.

Supported by Mayor Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee Common Council, and the City of Milwaukee Health Department, the MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan responds to priority issues selected by our community, for our community, and seeks to create shared priorities to address these issues. Together we can elevate the health of all who call Milwaukee home.

About MKE Elevate           

MKE Elevate is both a process and a plan that will elevate the health of all Milwaukee residents. Through the Community Health Improvement Planning Process, our goal was to create a citywide Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that identifies shared goals and action steps that will result in long-term measurable improvements in the health of residents citywide.

What is a Community Health Improvement Plan?

The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a roadmap for improving and promoting the health of Milwaukee residents. It is a community-driven process, supported by Mayor Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee Health Department, that engages our residents, businesses, agencies and nonprofits in deciding Milwaukee's most pressing health issues. Using the data and health issues identified in the City of Milwaukee Community Health Assessment and communitywide surveys, the MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan outlines how we can all work together to elevate the health of our community around select priority areas for action.

Who is involved in this work?

The City of Milwaukee Health Department is facilitating the implementation of the Community Health Improvement Plan. However, this is a community-driven initiative, and will need the entire community to execute the plan. We are asking individuals, businesses, agencies, nonprofits and coalitions citywide to join us in implementing the Priority Action Areas of MKE Elevate. 

What has already happened?

To date, we have completed a comprehensive assessment, the City of Milwaukee Community Health Assessment, to determine baseline measures for key health outcomes and key health determinants. A communitywide survey of more than 3,000 people who live and/or work in the city of Milwaukee along with a photo campaign, key stakeholder interviews, focus groups and meetings have helped us identify proposed Priority Action Areas.

At three community meetings, community residents and stakeholders approved these priority areas, and then formed Action Teams to develop draft goals and objectives for each area. Meeting participants also identified current activities already underway in Milwaukee that support the goals and objectives. Through one-on-one meetings, additional activities were identified for inclusion in a draft MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan.

A draft of the MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan was then available for public comment and feedback. Residents and stakeholders were encouraged to review the plan, identify any additional activities underway in our community that supported these proposed goals and objectives, and also to identify any new strategies that should be considered for inclusion in the final plan. The final MKE Elevate Community Health Improvement Plan incorporated the feedback from residents and stakeholders and was published in October 2017.

Following the release of the plan, Action Teams re-convened to develop work plans that responded to the community-identified priorities, as well as evaluation and ongoing monitoring mechanisms. A Steering Committee was identified to provide oversight and coordination to the effort to move the needle on these issues together.

What's next?

We are currently in the implementation phase of MKE Elevate, meaning we are working with our implementation partners as well as any community member or community agency whose work aligns with the goals and strategies outlined in the plan. As we re-engage implementation partners due to a lapse in implementation caused by staff turnover and the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be creating a public dashboard detailing the progress on our goals and strategies. Along with the implementation phase, we will co-currently be evaluating progress made on the plan, and will share more information in the coming months. 

How can I get involved?

We need you! Review the MKE Elevate Plan and then let us know if the work you are doing in your agency or your neighborhood aligns with the Priority Action Areas, goals, or strategies outlined in the plan. Follow us on social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see highlights of our community partners' work toward our Priority Action Areas, and let us know if you'd like us to highlight your work as well! We will only make measurable progress when we all take the steps that we can, together. 


Priority Action Team Meeting Schedule - 2021

Economic Security

Inclusive and Fair Society - Eliminate Racism

Positive Mental Health


Tuesday, February 16, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Wednesday, February 17, 11 am - 12:30 pm Thursday, February 18, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Tuesday, May 18, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Wednesday, May 19, 11 am - 12:30 pm Thursday, May 20, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Tuesday, August 17, 11 am - 12:30 pm 


Wednesday, August 18, 11 am - 12:30 pm Thursday, August 19, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Tuesday, November 16, 11 am - 12:30 pm


Wednesday, November 17, 11 am - 12:30 pm Thursday, November 18, 11 am - 12:30 pm


E-mail us at for meeting information for the Action Teams!

Action Teams

MKE Elevate Action Team members come from all areas of the Milwaukee community through their neighborhoods and their organizations. Action Team membership is open to all who are interested in elevating the health and wellbeing of our Milwaukee community. Action Teams meet quarterly throughout the year and focus on the three Priority Action Areas: 


Economic Security

Actionable goal: Improve access to basic human needs such as healthy & affordable food, and safe & affordable housing


Inclusive & Fair Society - Eliminate Racism

Actionable goal: Enhance community connectedness


Positive Mental Health

Actionable goal: Become a trauma-informed city. 


Meeting Minutes, 2021

Q1 Action Team Meeting Summaries, February 2021





Steering Committee

MKE Elevate reconvened the Steering Committee in Fall of 2020. The Steering Committee is comprised of MHD partners who are aligned with the work of the Priority Action Areas in MKE Elevate. Steering Committee members are essential to propelling the implementation and evaluation process of MKE Elevate forward. 


Meeting Minutes, 2020-2021

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, September 2020

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, January 2021

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes - Q1, February 2021 


Data & Reports

Local data on health outcomes and results of community resident and key stakeholder surveys during the planning process of MKE Elevate.

Our Partnerships


Acelero Learning Wisconsin   Alliance for Economic Inclusion   American Cancer Society   American Heart Association   Ascension   Children's WI    Department of City Development   Department of Neighborhood Services   Equal Rights Commission   MHD   Office of Early Childhood Initiatives    Office of Equity and Inclusion   Milwaukee Police Department   Coalition on Lead Emergency (COLE)   Community Advocates Public Policy Institute   Employ Milwaukee   Environmental Collaboration Office   Farmers Market Coalition   Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin   Fondy Food Center      Friedens Food Pantries   Marquette University   Medical College of Wisconsin   Mental Health America of WI   Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing Council   MHD Office of Violence Prevention   Milwaukee Christian Center   Milwaukee Coalition for Children's Mental Health   Milwaukee Community Justice Council   Milwaukee County Behavioral Health   MCOPP   Milwaukee Food Council   Milwaukee Health Care Partnership   Milwaukee LIFH   Milwaukee Public Libraries   MKE Good Food Bus   MMAC   MPS   NAMI Greater Milwaukee   Near West Side Partners   Progressive Community Health Centers   Safe & Sound      SaintA   Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers   SPEAK Easy   The People's Revolution   UBUNTU Research   United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha   UnitedHealthcare   Unite WI   UW-Extension   UW-Madison   UW-Milwaukee   Versiti   Wisconsin DPH



MKE Elevate. Our Health. Our Community. Our Future


MKE Elevate - Rachel Lecher, MPH
City of Milwaukee Health Department
841 N Broadway 1st Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 305-2192 

Rachel Lecher is a Public Health Strategist with the Milwaukee Health Department. Her role focuses on implementing the priority action areas of MKE Elevate as well as prioritizing Health Equity within the department and our community. If you have any questions about the implementation of MKE Elevate or want information about how to become involved or re-engaged with the work of MKE Elevate, please e-mail her at 

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