Resource navigators at UW Health Wingra Clinic

Training leaders for 21st Century health

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Research to elevate patient voices

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Advocacy that puts patients at the core

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Zooming out: Learning strategies for systems change

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Explore our work

discussion groupEducation

Our programs combine patient advocacy, health systems, and experiential learning to boost marketable skills.

Our courses

Two people sitting with hands folded on lapsAdvocacy

Graduate and professional students offer free advocacy services for patients navigating the health care system.

Advocacy services

doc seeing dad and daughter in officeAction research

An international research team shines a light on diverse patient experiences, using findings to promote patient-centered care.


Wisconsin State CapitolSystems Change

Students learn how to navigate legal and policy systems, identifying issues where they can advocate for change at a broader level.

Systems change

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Our Mission

The Center for Patient Partnerships fosters effective partnerships among people seeking healthcare, people providing healthcare, and people making policies that guide the healthcare system.

Our statement on racial justice

For two decades the Center for Patient Partnerships has prepared emerging leaders to take on complexity. Whether it’s in a classroom, in the community, or online, our approach grounds students in reflection, listening, and empathy that strengthens one of the key elements found in successful 20th-century leaders: Self-awareness. 

Our students, who come from a wide range of disciplines, learn directly from clients as they navigate complicated challenges that emerge within health care, human services, benefits, legal, and insurance systems. 

As we assist patients seeking safe, necessary health care options, we actively share patients’ stories with policymakers and people who design services to ensure that systems become more responsive to the lived experiences of people most affected by health, social, and economic problems. 


  • We’re open…and adapting!

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have kept our courses humming, and we continue to partner with organizations serving the community to help ensure clients and patients can access the care and resources they need. We …

  • Check out selected student papers: Public Health 785, Medical Care & Public Health Systems

    Public Health 785: Selected Student Papers, 2020

  • Clinical: What We’re Learning

    This summer, for the first time, seven law students, two pharmacy students,  and one medical student took on the daunting task of learning patient advocacy from entirely remote settings. Through the summer Clinical, interdisciplinary students …

  • Resource Navigators learn valuable lessons about factors that influence health

    When Wisconsin HealthCorps Volunteer Hannah Fleischman was placed as a coordinator with CPP’s Community Resource Navigator Program, she didn’t know what to expect. Now, after a year with the program, Fleischman says the lessons will …

  • LIFT Dane Corner: Fees and Fines, What They Mean for Health

    Imagine you barely have enough money to pay rent and buy food and you receive a parking ticket because you forgot to move your car to the alternative side of the street.  Do you pay …

  • Our statement on racial justice

    CPP Statement on Racial Justice We stand in solidarity with those fighting for justice following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Manuel Ellis, Tony Robinson and countless other Black lives …

  • Directors’ note: Summer 2020

    As we move into a new decade of advocacy and education, we are reminded of the fragility of our systems of care–and of the resilience of so many people who navigate them. The COVID-19 pandemic …

  • Rachel Grob leads action research to ensure policy reflects patients’ experiences

    Through her career-long focus on listening to, documenting, and understanding patients’ experiences in health care, CPP’s Director of National Initiatives, Rachel Grob, leads research on gaps that others in health care often miss. Grob leads …

  • Public Health 785 teaches MPH students to “think in systems”

    In a new course designed by CPP co-director Sarah Davis and CPP health systems instructor Mary Michaud, students in MPH and health professional programs learn how to “think in systems.”  Medical Care and Public Health …

  • Davis contributes to NQF Action Team on Co-Designing Patient-centered Health Systems

    CPP Co-director and Clinical Professor of Law Sarah Davis joined experts and recognized leaders from the private and public sector committed to engaging patients as active partners to improve quality and patient safety within health …

  • Research team fills gap during COVID-19

    The CPP research team has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in two major ways. Global Health Experiences with COVID-19 Module. As part of an international initiative to understand people’s experiences of care during COVID-19, our …

  • Shining a light on suprise medical billing

    Millions of Americans struggle to pay medical bills, with over 20% of Wisconsinites reporting having a past due medical bill.  Frustrating the situation are “surprise medical bills,” or charges billed when a person with insurance …

  • Read more

group of students“CPP has been the most personally impactful experience of my graduate program. Through the coursework, but especially through the connections I’ve made with clients and fellow advocates, I’ve gained important understanding of healthcare from an individual to systems level.

My time at CPP has laid the foundation for a future career grounded in patient narratives.”

2020 Graduate Student
Law, Medical Sciences and Nursing 768

   All are welcome here.

The Center for Patient Partnerships and the University of Wisconsin-Madison
are located on unceded, ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk people.