Medical College of Wisconsin Partnership

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate all of the people and things that we appreciate. What are you thankful for this week? Does DSAW play a role in any of those things?

Kristen, a student at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Co-President of the group Friends for Special Needs, is thankful for her partnership with DSAW: "DSAW has created an environment where medical students can have extremely positive experiences with those with disabilities. I personally am so thankful that I can help facilitate this knowledge and experience with my peers to help them become better physicians in the future."

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MCW students have been volunteering with DSAW for more than three years, supporting young adults with Down syndrome and other special needs at DSAW's recurring programs and special events. The experience has been life-changing for both groups! MCW students have made lasting friendships with many of our self advocates, shaping the future for the next generation of medical leaders.

MCW is the 4th largest private medical school in the nation, and its students deploy to practice medicine across the globe. DSAW works with MCW not only to provide volunteer opportunities for its students, but to educate them about what Down syndrome is, what it isn't, and how they can better serve their patients with special needs. DSAW and its partners have also done trainings on how to deliver a compassionate diagnosis. Think about the impact this experience will have when these students become medical professionals!

Our partnership with MCW will affect the future of health care for people with special needs. Kristin has realized that "those with disabilities have so much to offer to this world. If they aren't feeling 100%, they will receive my full attention to their needs. I have been able to recognize better that they know their body and their mind better than their caregivers, and we, as professionals, need to make sure we give credit to what they can offer to their history and presenting symptoms."


On November 8th, self advocates in Young Leaders Academy took a trip to MCW for a Learning and Skills night. The self advocates told the medical students what they like to see in health care professionals, and the med students taught the self advocates how to conduct a medical exam. Kristin's goal of this session "was to help the self advocates have more power over their healthcare and be more informed on what is happening with their health!"

When you support DSAW, you are supporting the future of health care for people with Down syndrome. You are supporting objective diagnoses for new and expectant parents around the world. We need you to help us educate others about Down syndrome. Will you consider making a gift to DSAW next Tuesday?


Dawn Nuoffer
Executive Director
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin

PS - As you save big on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consider donating your savings on Giving Tuesday! It's an easy way to give back!