"What Works" was a three-year, collaborative project between the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future. The overall goal of the What Works project was to identify and disseminate public health interventions that helped reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in Wisconsin. Activities of the What Works project focused on two State Health Plan health priority areas (obesity, overweight and lack of physical activity; access to primary and preventive health services) and on the two largest racial/ethnic minority populations in Wisconsin (African American and Latino/Hispanic).
The What Works project involved two key strategies:
- Review of the published academic literature related to the two health priority areas in order to identify evidence-based practices that could improve health in these communities, and
- Looking within Wisconsin's local communities for programs or projects that showed promise in improving health in racial and ethnic minority populations. The Wisconsin Promising Practices Program was a systematic means to recognize and support these promising local programs, as well as a way to enable others to learn from and potentially replicate their efforts.