Healing Trauma as a Public Health Priority-Closing Panel

Close our time together with a panel discussion, featuring professionals connected with key programs in Milwaukee County aiming to address Trauma and Community Violence.

Credible Messenger Program – David Muhammad

Milwaukee County Credible Messenger effort (CM) launched in 2020 to promote public safety by intervening in gun violence and support positive outcomes for Milwaukee youth—with an emphasis on those in the youth justice system. The effort focuses specifically on impacting youth at all points of system involvement by coordination amongst various partners, including community-based organizations, public health entities, academic institutions and government agencies. The effort is staffed by individuals with lived experience and previous justice involvement who support youth by transformative mentoring. In its first year, youth involved reported a 77% success rate for recidivism and pro-social behavior. The program has served over 280 youth and since expanded to include six community agencies and all-girls intervention team.

Trauma Response Team – Rashaan Cherry

The Trauma Response Team (TRT) is a joint venture between Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Police Department to respond to youth between the ages of 6 to 17 years old in the Milwaukee County area that have been exposed to trauma or stressful experiences such as serious accidents, sudden death, shootings, violence or domestic violence.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers – Gabriela Diéguez Hurtado

Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers will work to narrow health disparities and access gaps and improve the environment where people live, work, learn and play. To deepen our impact on people’s lives, our care will extend beyond the vital and high-quality care provided within our clinics and will also extend beyond the four walls of our exam rooms to give individuals and families the support, services and self-empowerment they need to make wellness a sustainable reality. We will leverage an organization-wide system to address the social and environmental needs of our patients, clients, participants and community by leveraging collaborations with the robust network of partner agencies and organizations addressing needs of individuals and families.

414 Life Violence Interrupters – David Sinclair

414LIFE focuses on reducing the burden that gun violence places on individuals and families in Milwaukee County by treating gun violence as a disease. A key element to the success of the 414LIFE program is engaging community members as “violence interrupters” in neighborhoods across Milwaukee County and in the hospital setting. These violence interrupters are equipped with the skills, relationships and credibility to be able to mediate conflict within their communities.


Justin Rivas

Justin Rivas leads community health initiatives for the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, aiming to improve health outcomes and advance health equity through community-wide collaboration. In addition to overseeing Community Health Needs Assessment Planning and Health Compass Milwaukee, Justin supports the Partnership’s initiatives around violence, housing, lead and substance use, as well as serving as the program director for the Milwaukee Enrollment Network.

Justin previously served as Network Strategist and Community Coach for County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a collaboration of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His role included providing strategic guidance and training in support of data-driven and evidence-based community action planning for health improvement, as well as developing national partnerships aimed at addressing health issues for Latinos. In a prior role at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Center for AIDS Intervention Research, he coordinated mixed methods health research and led community interventions for underserved populations in Milwaukee.

Justin holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Zilber School of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as a Master of International Public Affairs degree from the LaFollette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been an active board member of the Wisconsin Public Health Association and has presented at local, state and national public health conferences.

Gabriela Diéguez Hurtado

Gabriela Diéguez Hurtado, MSW, LCSW earned her master’s in social work at UW-Milwaukee. She has worked as a bilingual therapist for 18 years at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, providing services to an inner-city population in Milwaukee. She has also collaborated in two research projects with Latinos, one with UW- Milwaukee on Behavioral Activation and the other with Marquette University on Attention Deficit Disorders. Gabriela spends her free time as a volunteer with Common Ground doing community organizing in Milwaukee’s Southside.

Rashaan Cherry

Rashaan Cherry works for the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services and serves as the Interim Associate Director for Children’s Community Mental Health Services and Wraparound Milwaukee. She has worked in the social services field for over 20 years, working with youth and families throughout Milwaukee County who have been affected by trauma, adversity, mental health and overall behavioral health challenges. Rashaan started her career working within the Wraparound Milwaukee System of Care in 2009 and has worked in various roles of care coordinator, supervisor, program manager and integrated services manager. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College, Milwaukee. Rashaan is committed to this work with an intent and focus on enhancing our existing system of care’s programs and services to become more community based therefore meeting people where they are.

David Muhammad

David Muhammad is the Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer of Milwaukee County’s Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). DHHS is Milwaukee County’s largest department with a nearly $400 million budget, approximately 900 employees, serving 80,000 residents annually. David manages operations for DHHS service areas, including Aging and Disabilities Services, Behavioral Health Services, Housing Services, Management Services and Veterans’ Services. A deeply committed community leader who has dedicated his career to improving the quality of life for families and young people in our community, David continues to work to advance racial and health equity and is especially passionate about youth justice innovation strategies.

David Sinclair

David Sinclair is the outreach supervisor at 414 Life. He has extensive experience working in Milwaukee foundations that serve the community. Prior to 414 Life, he worked with Greater Milwaukee Faith Voices for Justice, and was the program director at Westcare Wisconsin for Milwaukee County Credible Messengers.