ACCME Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Hours of Participation for Allied Health Care Professionals:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this activity for up to 1.0 hours of participation for continuing education for allied health professionals. 

Session date: 
Monday, October 8, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
The Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
The HUB 2338
Milwaukee, WI 53226
United States
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
    AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 1.00 Hours of Participation
    Hours of Participation credit.

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Program Description: 

Dr. Thalia M. Williams is passionate about clinical medicine and population health.  Thalia received academic trainings in Clinical Research Administration, Educational Leadership and Epidemiology.  In 2017, she was named “Actual Living Scientist” by the Milwaukee Area Science Advocates.  She realized an intellectual approach to inquiry involves referencing the scientific works of Louis Pasteur, Socrates, Aristotle and John Snow.  These historical innovators piqued her interests in investigating solutions for individuals lacking access to quality healthcare, safe ecological environments, new medical therapies and the pathway to being well.  Currently, Dr. Williams serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public health at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Adjunct Professor in Epidemiology at Southern New Hampshire University, as well as UW-Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare where she teachers social work statistical methods.  She strives to promote collaboration among diverse linkages (e.g., education, nursing) to strategically align biostatistics, peer-reviewed authorship and effective public health programming.  Her work at Zilber involves coordinating MPH student Field Experience internships.  For example, Dr. Williams recently brought a masters student with her to the Bread of Healing Clinic, which is a free medical clinic providing services to low-income communities that may not have access to healthcare. In building relationships with this clinic, Dr. Williams is able to provide them with University resources in the form of master-level, student interns, as they are able to glean experiences integral to their career journey in public health. These kinds of reciprocal relationships are mutually beneficial to members of the Milwaukee community.

Thalia has over 19 years of public and university-level teaching experience.  She engages in peer and abstract reviewing for Gavin Publishers and the American Public Health Association (APHA) regarding topics of formaldehyde in fiber manufacturing, typhus myocarditis, Cesium-137, and the emergence of the community health workers in diabetes management and care.   

When Dr. Thalia Williams was teaching middle science and high school chemistry, she realized that she wanted to take a broader approach to science education. The topics that piqued her interest – the units she taught about adolescent and environmental health – got her thinking about how she could expand beyond her classroom to study population health.  This in turn led her to the field of epidemiology, which she explains as gathering data to detail the health status of an entire population of people.  From there, you find out “who, what, when, where, and why.”  For example, why is one particular condition more prevalent in one area of the population rather than another?  For Dr. Williams, studying epidemiology was an opportunity to have a greater impact. Here, she could plan and come up with viable resources to support the health needs of an entire population. In her own words: ’that’s powerful!’

Many individuals consider the doctor or the nurse to be the go-to person when it comes to health; however, social determinants of health outcomes are also critically important to consider, according to Dr. Williams.  Prior to completing her doctoral degree in epidemiology, she has conducted focus-group research, as well as observational studies in risky and unfamiliar places.  Her doctoral research involved considering depression and neighborhood safety as variables that impact outcomes involving Sexually Transmitted Diseases among adolescents and young adults. She considers these variables, and others, including violence and injury, to also be critically important in examining public health in the city of Milwaukee. 

All of these factors affect family members, community members, law enforcement, and hospitals. Health outcomes are also closely tied in with racial disparities.

Dr. Williams’ areas of knowledge and expertise are social determinants of health, biostatistics, epidemiology, and environmental science education, which lend themselves nicely to the multifaceted nature of the field of Public Health.  Since the awakening of the burden of the high HIV rates among 17-28 year olds and lower quality of life among young people living in Milwaukee, she has turned to another paradigm of thinking.  She believes that our society is abundant in resources that paves the way to personal achievement in health, wealth and happiness.  However, research continues to demonstrate that people across all racial and economic strata are not achieving what science considers as an idealized mind, body and soul that are linked to optimal health and longevity.  Warranted is a shift away from the narrow, as a balance between mind, body and spirt is a complicated web.  Dr. Williams agrees that epidemiologists, medical practitioners and other important stakeholders have their work cut out for them in establishing appropriate solutions for such vast problems.  It is time to help those who don’t have access to the knowledge of optimal health and healthcare, as it is critical.  To dig deeper into important adaptive functions is our business and is a key step in the right direction.

Target audience: 

Allied Health Care Professionals

Learning objectives: 

Goal: The goal is for participants to get a sense of the inner-workings of intrapersonal or individual-level theories for the development of models that promote achievement of positive population health outcomes.  While there are controversies around protective psychosocial assets, the evolving discipline featuring biobehavioral mechanisms has the potential to serve as the key influence of addressing the social determinants of health to expand the mission of public health practice.

  • Demonstrate improved understanding of current MCW community-engaged and primary care research initiatives.
  • Describe qualitative and quantitative research approaches used in primary care and community-engaged research.
  • Identify appropriate mentors, colleagues, and community partners with whom to collaborate on primary care and community-engaged research endeavors.
  • Discuss current local, national, and international initiatives and trends related to primary care and community-engaged research.
  • Describe – and identify appropriate research strategies to address – race- and ethnicity-based health disparities.
Faculty & credentials: 

Presenter: Thalia Williams, PhD

Activity Director: Linda Meurer, MD

All persons in control of content have NO relevant financial relationships to disclose.


Melissa DeNomie
Phone number: 
+1 (414) 955-8867