United Health Foundation and Medical College of Wisconsin to Launch Coordinated Care Program for New and Expectant Mothers

  • The Periscope Project to offer local primary-care providers
    access to real-time peer-to-peer psychiatric teleconsultation
  • Project is funded through a $1.2 million United Health
    Foundation grant

MILWAUKEE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–United Health Foundation and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) will
create a program to improve women’s health and birth outcomes, and
reduce health disparities.

The Periscope (PERInatal Specialty COnsult Psychiatry
Extension) Project aims to provide real-time care coordination,
behavioral health services and support for new and expectant mothers
across southeast Wisconsin. Primary-care providers will have access to
care-coordination services including:

  • immediate, real-time, peer-to-peer access to consultation by a
    perinatal psychiatrist;
  • a Periscope Project coordinator to help identify community resources,
  • digital resources via MCW’s
    featuring a care provider toolkit composed of medical
    management resources including assessment tools, treatment algorithms,
    treatment information and continuing medical education (CME) modules.

The project is funded by a $1.2 million grant by United Health
Foundation, and is part of the foundation’s city-based approach to
provide resources to organizations that connect communities to care,
support whole-person health and build healthier communities.

“The Periscope Project addresses the lack of perinatal psychiatric care
providers by increasing the reach and efficiency of these specialized
health providers,” said Dr. Christina Wichman, associate professor of
Psychiatry, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at MCW. “Together, we are
building the capacity of primary-care providers to effectively manage
and coordinate care for their perinatal patients with psychiatric and
behavioral health conditions.”

“We are partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin to help ensure
that primary care providers have the tools they need to enhance new and
expectant mothers’ health and well-being,” said Dr. Donna Davidoff,
chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin.
“The Periscope Project will help more mothers and babies live healthier
lives and improve access to coordinated, comprehensive care.”

The Periscope Project is led by a multi-disciplinary team including a
perinatal psychiatrist and program staff from the MCW’s Department of
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, and a researcher and health
economist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing.
Secondary partnerships include Milwaukee Health Care Partnership and its
member health systems, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin and
the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

“These partnerships are critical to the project’s success,” said
Jennifer Doering, associate professor and executive committee chair,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing. “This
multi-institution and multi-discipline approach is rooted with a deep
commitment to advancing and integrating cost-effective best practices
for the care and treatment of perinatal women in Milwaukee, with a
targeted approach to reaching the most vulnerable patients.”

According to the 2016
America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report
, more
than 14 percent of women ages 18 to 44 in Wisconsin use alcohol during
pregnancy, signaling a need for increased substance-abuse consultation
and access to care during these critical months. The Periscope Project
will ensure new and expectant mothers have access to these services, in
addition to specialty perinatal psychiatric care.

The United Health Foundation grant will be awarded over three years,
with an additional $200,000 from the State of Wisconsin through the
Title V Maternal Health Block Grant.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin
in 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and
excellence in education, patient care, research and community
engagement. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical
school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, 56 medical students
enrolled at MCW-Green Bay, and 26 students matriculated to MCW-Central
Wisconsin in 2016. MCW’s School of Pharmacy will open in 2017 or 2018
with an initial class size of 60 students. A major national research
center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro
area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY2015, faculty received more
than $158 million in external support for research, teaching, training
and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research
and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,200 research
studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500
physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for
more than 525,000 patients annually.

About United Health Foundation
collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts,
United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a
diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local
communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth
Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation
dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health
Foundation has committed nearly $315 million to programs and communities
around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthgroup.com/SocialResponsibility
or follow Facebook.com/UHGGives.

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Medical College of Wisconsin
Holly Botsford, 414-955-8761
Marusic, 312-348-3825