Vision: A Dane County Absent of Racial Health Disparities.

Goal: Decrease racial disparities in Dane County by providing
equitable access to affordable, accessible and culturally-safe
health care.

Why it Matters:

While Dane County remains a top place to live, raise a family and retire, for our BIPOC neighbors (including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian and people of color), education, income and health inequities and disparities remain consistent. Unfortunately in Dane County, the color of your skin and the ZIP code in which you live have a significant impact on your quality of life, life expectancy and a wide range of health outcomes.

Currently, the overall life expectancy in Dane County is 81.8 years old (2017-2019 County Health Rankings) – however, life expectancy for Black residents is 73.7 years old.

INCOME Fast Facts

The impact on Dane County residents participating in Health programming in 2021:

0 %

completed goals in programs focused on cultural safety and responsiveness to trauma for BIPOC communities
(3,425 individuals).

0 %

saw improved health outcomes in programs that address the needs of BIPOC communities
(2,377 individuals).

0 %

saw improved health outcomes in maternal child health programs
(835 individuals).

Shaping our Focus, Deepening our Impact

At United Way, we know that Wisconsin leads the U.S. in racial disparities that exist within our communities — and we see that right here in Dane County. In an effort to deepen our impact and specifically serve populations who experience poor health outcomes due to long-standing inequities, we’ve focused our strategies within our health portfolio.

This evolution allows us to address issues that affect people at all stages of life who are not getting the care they need. With that in mind, we’ve updated our health priorities with two new goals:

Reduce racial health disparities in Dane County

Increase resiliency and trauma supports for Dane County residents

Our vision is that, over time, we will see Dane County’s health disparities reduced. We’ll accomplish this by working together with our partners to ensure an equitable, affordable, accessible and culturally-safe healthcare experience for all.


Increase culturally relevant, reflective and safe wellness models and programs defined and/or led by BIPOC neighbors (including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Southeast Asian and people of color).

Increase capacity in communities to address health disparities for BIPOC communities.

Increase community-based health programs that address BIPOC communities.

Increase community-based maternal child health programming for BIPOC communities.

Increase culturally-safe and responsive trauma and resiliency programs for BIPOC communities.

Embed culture brokers into care teams for individuals and families in BIPOC communities disengaged from mental health supports due to racism, power dynamics and distrust.

Finding Safety and Comfort In Hmoob Kaj Siab

Many programs transitioned back to in-person programming in 2021 after being closed or virtual for more than a year. One program, Hmoob Kaj Siab run by The Hmong Institute, reopened on June 7. One male elder shared that this program provides a lifeline for him. When he heard the news that the center was re-opening, he compared it to the happiness and excitement he had when he was in a refugee camp and received news that he and his family were accepted to come to America. After being home during the pandemic, coming to the center meant he would be able to see his friends, participate in the activities and not be isolated anymore. During the pandemic when he saw reports of violence against Asians, he stopped walking around his neighborhood for exercise. Now, he comes every day to walk in the gym. He is so thankful for Hmoob Kaj Siab and the mental health support he receives from staff.

Public Policy Priorities

Protect and improve access to affordable, high-quality health care coverage and increase the provision of culturally safe, trauma-informed care to achieve health equity.

Expand access to healthy food by addressing food deserts and inequities in food security
and ensuring basic nutritional programs are available to everyone.

Address bias and racial inequities in health care and help grow and diversify the
health care workforce.

Support and promote health equity initiatives that address the social determinants of health.

Download a PDF of this information

 Are you passionate about building a Dane County absent of Racial Health Disparities?

For more information, please contact

United Way of Dane County Invests in Health Programs at These Agencies

Access Community Health Centers
Access to Independence
ARC Community Services
Canopy Center
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Madison
Centro Hispano
East Madison Community Center
Jewish Social Services of Madison
Journey Mental Health Center
Pharmacy Society of WI
Safe Communities
of Madison & Dane County
SSM Health at Home
The Hmong Institute
The Rainbow Project
Triangle Community Ministry
Urban Triage
Vera Court Neighborhood Center
Vivent Health