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Poverty Makes Us Sick: How Milwaukee is Addressing an Epidemic of Trauma

AOSmith BuildingMost of us are aware of the terrible post-traumatic stress that afflicts soldiers and civilians in war zones.   But here at home, many residents of neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization and joblessness experience a similarly debilitating “toxic stress.”  Trauma-induced stress causes a range of physical and mental illnesses that contribute to family breakdown, school failure and crime.  Children, whose brains are still developing, are particularly at risk.  Yet evidence-based interventions may help reverse the effects of toxic stress. 

Please join a panel of community stakeholders, health providers and researchers to discuss how Milwaukee is addressing its epidemic of trauma, from individual therapies to efforts to strengthen communities.


  • Bevan Baker, Commissioner of Health, City of Milwaukee Health Department
  • Pete Carlson, President, Aurora Behavioral Health Services
  • Franklin Cumberbatch, Vice President for Engagement, Bader Philanthropies
  • Dr. Robert Fox, Professor, Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, Marquette University and Consulting Psychologist for the Behavior Clinic
  • Dr. Paul Gasser, Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Marquette University
  • Kent Lovern, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Milwaukee County
  • John Schmid, Economics Correspondent, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Moderated by: Dr. Susan Giaimo, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Political Science and Biomedical Sciences, Marquette University


Location and Time

Wednesday, November 8th
6:30–8:30 p.m.
Marquette University Emory Clark Hall
530 N. 16th Street, Room 111
Use main entrance on the north side of the building.
Limited parking is available for a nominal fee in the 16th Street Parking Structure located at 749 N. 16th St. and the Wells St. Structure located at 1240 W. Wells St.


RSVP by Friday, November 3. Register here.


For questions or special needs, contact University Special Events at or 414.288.7431.


Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Health Sciences
Department of Political Science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences 

About the Forum

For academic year 2017-18, Marquette University will engage in a year-long series of events focusing on health equity. Building on last year’s theme “Freedom Dreams Now,” this year will explore health disparities, the social determinants of health, and opportunities for achieving greater equity locally and globally. Engaging students, faculty, staff, and the communities making up greater Milwaukee, Forum events will focus on several dimensions of health equity:

  • Children’s health/social determinants of health
  • Mental health: enduring stigmas and challenges
  • Global health: developing Marquette networks
  • Incarceration and health
  • Milwaukee: accessing healthcare

Spread the word about #MUForum.

This site will be updated throughout the academic year as we add events to our schedule.