UWM’s Kristie Brooke named 2017 Health Care Hero

UWM’s Kristie Brooke has been named a 2017 Health Care Hero by BizTimes Milwaukee.

Brooke is an advanced practice nurse practitioner in UWM’s College of Nursing and the Silver Spring Community Nursing Center – one of two UWM-run health care practices in Milwaukee.

She has been with the Silver Spring Community Nursing Center in Milwaukee’s Westlawn housing development since 2006, where she serves as the anchor advanced practice nurse provider. She is also the director of primary care services and chairperson for the cross-site practice committee.

Kristie Brooke at the Silver Spring Community Nursing Center (UWM Photo/Pete Amland)

Part of Brooke’s work with the Silver Spring center includes providing and coordinating the primary health care needs for clients with multiple chronic diseases – most of whom have limited access, if any, to health care.

“A couple of years ago, I had changed health insurance and could no longer see Kristie,” said Luz Perez, a client of Brooke’s. “I called BadgerCare to switch me to iCare so that I could go back to see Kristie. My commute to the clinic on the bus is a total of two hours to and from, but it is worth it for me.”

Brooke also works with the Silver Spring center’s Elaine Schreiber Child Development Center. The Elaine Schreiber Child Development Center provides health and wellness care to area children and training for their families.

“We can always depend on Kristie to help maintain a center of 96 children, to keep them healthy and to help stop the spread of sickness and germs,” said Kimberly Lowe, the center’s child development director. “We are honored to have Kristie here on site at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.”

At UWM, Brooke serves as mentor and preceptor in support of student nurses pursuing a professional clinical education.

“While other nurse practitioners may desire to work in higher-profile settings, we feel very blessed that Kristie was led to UWM,” said Jean Bell-Calvin, UWM clinical assistant professor and nursing center director.

Brooke has also led efforts to expand the scope of services available to clients at UWM’s community nursing centers, such as the Silver Spring Community Nursing Center. By working with government agencies, such as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the City of Milwaukee Health Department, she was able to expand provisions for uninsured women’s breast and cervical cancer screenings, and onsite reproductive health services for men and women. Brooke also coordinated prescription pharmaceutical access for uninsured clients through the use of prescription assistance programs. Such programs provide free medication for chronic diseases to eligible clients.

“Her persistence has been instrumental in increasing provisions,” Bell-Calvin said.

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