Improving post-partum mental health screening and treatment for Black mothers – Wisconsin Medical Society, Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Nurses Association announce collaboration


For Immediate Release – August 7, 2023


Wisconsin Medical Society: Haley Gilman – 608.697.1738

Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin: Megan Grant – 608.827.9200

Wisconsin Nurses Association: Gina Dennik-Champion – 608.228.3300


Improving post-partum mental health screening and treatment for Black mothers – Wisconsin Medical Society, Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Nurses Association announce collaboration

Madison, WI —The Wisconsin Medical Society (WisMed) today announced a collaborative project between the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) and the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) to impact equity gaps in the post-partum mental health screening and treatment provided to Black mothers in both rural and urban areas of Wisconsin. The project recently received American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding administered by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

This funding will allow WisMed, in collaboration with PSW and WNA, to launch pilot programs connecting Health Care Professionals (HCPs) with community partners within an urban and rural Wisconsin community. Education of physicians, pharmacists, and nurses will focus on improving the overall care and mental health of Black mothers during and after pregnancy, appropriate medication usage, and awareness around early warning signs of mental health concerns. The group will also aggregate, review, and distribute information on community resources and supports to surround the care of expectant Black mothers.

The CDC has listed perinatal mood disorders as one of the leading complications of pregnancy and childbirth and research shows that nearly 40% of Black women may experience maternal mental health symptoms. According to information compiled by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Black women not only face a higher chance of developing perinatal mood disorders, but they are also less likely to receive treatment due to factors such as fear of stigma, involvement of child welfare services and financial barriers.

“Wisconsin is a great place to live because of the health care we are able to deliver and receive,” states WisMed CEO Mike Flesher. “I am proud of WisMed and our fellow collaborators for recognizing where there are gaps in health care equity and grateful for the AHW Endowment that will allow us to address them. Through these new pilot programs, I am confident we can make a positive impact on the mental health and maternal care Black mothers receive in our state.”

“Pharmacists are well-positioned to provide accessible care and to support optimal medication use to close equity gaps. The team-approach to this work is exciting and we look forward to this and future collaborations with community organizations and other health care providers,” adds PSW Executive Vice President & CEO Sarah Sorum, PharmD, CAE.

“The Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) wants to thank the AHW Endowment Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program for their recognition of need to address the gaps in the delivery of mental health and maternal care services for Black mothers,” states WNA CEO Gina Dennik-Champion. “The issues and barriers surrounding Black mothers’ access to health care need to be identified. Solutions that support culturally sensitive care delivered in the right place, the right care, at the right time utilizing person-centered team-based care cannot be understated. The opportunity for Informing and educating our health care colleagues about the application of evidence-based solutions that improve care for the Black mother is an important strategic initiative that requires interprofessional and collaborative work,” states Dennik-Champion.


About the Wisconsin Medical Society

With over 10,000 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.


About the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin:

The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) is the state professional society representing pharmacists and pharmacy professionals. With over 4,500 members, PSW provides a unified voice, resources, and leadership to advance the pharmacy profession and improve the quality of medication use in Wisconsin. At PSW, we collaborate with healthcare teams to improve medication use, health of Wisconsinites, and transform pharmacy practice.  


About the Wisconsin Nurses Association:

Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) is the premier organization representing the interests of Wisconsin’s 96,000 registered nurses. WNA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. WNA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all.