WIPPS announces new health policy fellows

The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service is pleased to welcome two new health policy fellows, Amy Prunuske and Jeffrey W. Todd. Both will join WIPPS Research Partners, an arm of WIPPS that provides businesses, nonprofits and government with a full spectrum of academic and technical resources of the University of Wisconsin System using proven research methods and human-centered problem solving.

Prunuske’s work will focus on a statewide Student Voices project to assess K-12 student learning, coping and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also help coordinate outcome collection for the Hispanic and Hmong Network (H2N) outreach project of central Wisconsin, as well as for the LENA Start program in Marathon County, which supports early childhood development.

“I have found the goals and interests of WIPPS to align very closely with the work I do at the Medical College of Wisconsin-Central Wisconsin,” said Prunuske, “and I am excited to continue working with WIPPS towards community-based solutions to challenging public health problems.”

Prunuske is an associate professor for the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she directs the Physicians in the Community course and the Advocates in Medicine Pathway (AMP), a partnership between UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and Medical College of Wisconsin with support from the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Foundation.

Jeff Todd will draw from 43 years of experience to help WIPPS address access to public health and primary care, social determinants of health, and health equity. As a result of Todd’s work, WIPPS was awarded a major grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to provide health education, basic needs, and flu vaccinations for Hmong and Hispanic populations in Marathon County. Todd recently retired as the bureau chief for Quality Management at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services where he and his team were responsible for the quality of medical care received by the state’s 3.3 million Medicaid recipients.

“My church’s collaboration with WIPPS on immigration conversations so impressed me that I jumped at the opportunity to affiliate as a health policy fellow,” Todd said. “I am excited to bring a lifetime of public health policy development and implementation to the mix.”

Both fellows are excited to work with WIPPS to improve health education and create structural changes to support access to community resources for underserved populations.