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ECCHO: Engaging Communities to Change Health Outcomes

Our Approach

Our Approach

Transform systems & communities by centering those closest to the issue.

Our Values

  • Autonomy & Self-Determination

  • Civic Participation

  • Radical Imagination

  • Community Power & Leadership

  • Transparency

  • Social Justice

Our Vision

BIPOC women and non-binary people in Milwaukee, Rock, and Dane county have the resources and support they need to build collective power and improve the health outcomes of their communities.

Our Goals

  • Build strong civic infrastructure to improve civic health outcome

  • Improve health outcomes of individuals and communities

  • Increase confidence and leadership skills

  • Empower individuals to radically imagine a better future



ECCHO is a civic engagement training program that seeks to improve community health outcomes by engaging those most impacted by generational and systemic racism in Dane, Milwaukee, and Rock county.

During a 9 month training program, participants work together as a cohort to design and implement a community-based project that meets the health and civic health needs of their community.

Each cohort is overseen by a Local Program Coordinator who compensates participants for their work and provides them with the training and resources they need to successfully implement their project, drive policy change, and transform local systems of power.

ECCHO is committed to community-based leadership and decision-making that centers the views and experiences of those most affected by the issue. By investing in and lifting-up those most negatively impacted by generational and systemic racism in our state, ECCHO aims to transform local systems of power and improve health outcomes.

To ensure the program remains in alignment with our values, the following practices have been incorporated into the administration, structure, and curriculum of the program:

  • Anti-oppression practices

  • Empowerment practices

  • Social justice oriented practices

  • Community-based participatory research practices

  • Radical imagination

Civic Health

Civic Health

Civic health is defined as the civic, social, and political strength of a community, which is determined by the degree to which citizens participate in their communities, from local and state governance to interactions with friends or family.

Public health researchers have long known that the civic health of a community contributes directly and indirectly to overall community health.

Communities that have a strong civic infrastructure are more likely to have positive civic health and health equity outcomes.

Civic infrastructure are the laws, processes, institutions and associations that support opportunities for people to connect, solve problems, make decisions and celebrate community.

According to the 2021 County Health Rankings, Milwaukee and Rock counties are ranked among Wisconsin’s least healthy counties. These same counties have a significantly lower rate of civic engagement related to voting and voter registration.

With this in mind, ECCHO seeks to strengthen the civic infrastructure of Dane, Milwaukee, and Rock county to increase civic participation, and improve their civic health and health equity outcomes.

Our Model

Phase 1: Cohort crafts a collective vision of the future

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Our Team

Our Team

Each cohort is supported by a Local Program Coordinator who:

  • Provides information and resources to assist cohort with developing and executing a local civic health project

  • Actively listens to the needs, desires, and vision of cohort

  • Empowers cohort to be confident leaders who imagine a better future for themselves & communities

  • Facilitates cohort training, community building, and project development needs


LaRaine Patterson, ECCHO Milwaukee Local Program Coordinator

(414) 432-5927

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Michelle Gill, ECCHO Milwaukee Local Program Coordinator

(414) 432-5417


Veronica Hereford, ECCHO Rock County Local Program Coordinator

(414) 432-5927

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Lourdes Shanjani, ECCHO Dane County Local Program Coordinator

(608) 291-9791

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ECCHO Program Director


(608) 300-8866


Your Health
Your Vote!

Did you know that more voting access = better health outcomes?

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