Health care training program aims to increase diversity in workforce

December 6, 2017
Physical Therapy
Victoria Moerchen (on far right) with colleague Margaret Dietrich (on far left) with MCH Pipeline students at the First Collaborative Learning Day to Address Infant Mortality at Ascension/Columbia-St. Mary’s.

Victoria Moerchen (on far right) with colleague Margaret Dietrich (on far left) with MCH Pipeline students at the First Collaborative Learning Day to Address Infant Mortality at Ascension/Columbia-St. Mary’s.

By UWM News, September 21, 2017

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is home to a program like very few in the United States.

UWM is one of just six undergraduate institutions in the country to receive a Maternal & Child Health Pipeline Training grant, which aims to boost the diversity of the health care workforce.

The program recruits and supports undergraduate students from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups who are pursuing degrees from the UWM College of Health Sciences, College of Nursing, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the College of Letters & Science.

UWM nursing student Raven Wright raves about the program.

“I’ve learned that I’m really capable of excelling in areas that I never really would have considered otherwise, if I never would have joined MCH,” Wright said. “Everyone that I have met has always given me nothing but support, nothing but encouragement to become a better student and a better person. They always seem to have my back.”

The program provides support throughout the student’s time at UWM, and teaches leadership and how to work together as a team.

Ninety-five percent of the program’s students successfully enroll in graduate school.

“That’s a really high number and something we’re very proud of,” said Victoria Moerchen, director of UWM’s Maternal and Child Health Pipeline Training program and an associate professor of kinesiology and physical therapy in the College of Health Sciences.

The five-year grant was awarded by the Health Resources & Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.