The Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers board of directors appointed Executive Vice President Julie Schuller, MD, MPH, MBA, as incoming president and CEO. Dr. Schuller will succeed John Bartkowski, DrPH, who has served as president and CEO for the last 27 years and recently announced his retirement as of March 31, 2017.
“We are extremely grateful for John’s superb leadership and vision,” said Board Chair Rick Walters. “This is a natural fit for Julie, and I’m confident she will carry on John’s legacy to the fullest.”
Sixteenth Street, which provides clinical care and behavioral health services for Milwaukee’s vulnerable populations, has grown exponentially under Dr. Bartkowski’s leadership, starting as a storefront clinic with 45 employees and five doctors to now having three clinical sites—including a new market in Waukesha—with two more sites in process.
“John achieved a legacy of tremendous growth and success for Sixteenth Street—from community partnerships to increasing our physicians by ten-fold to leadership in environmental health and lead poisoning prevention,” said Dr. Schuller. “I’m humbled to fill his shoes. I’m also energized!”
Dr. Schuller has worked with Sixteenth Street for the last 20 years, starting as a clinical provider and then as medical director and, most recently, executive vice president. She looks forward to continuing the organization’s emphasis on community health, rather than health center, by going out into the community to address population health and the social determinants of health.
“Poverty impacts people’s health tremendously,” she said. “We have a responsibility to address its roots beyond the exam room to improve the health of our patients any way we can: medical care, involvement in the community, collaboration and coordination with partners. My population health perspective drives how I approach my work.”
In the upcoming months, she and Dr. Bartkowski will work together to shepherd a new clinic farther south with the help of Aurora and a site on the west side of Milwaukee with the help of Froedtert, as well as navigate an upcoming federal survey this September.
“I’m leaving Sixteenth Street in skilled hands,” said Dr. Bartkowski. “Julie is sure to do great things with the incredible momentum Sixteenth Street has going into the future.”
In his retirement, Dr. Bartkowski is looking forward to the opportunity to relax with family and friends, as well as engage in consulting and teaching work that continues to share his expertise on community health centers and population health. Between now and his retirement, he and Dr. Schuller are committed to making the leadership transition as seamless as possible for Sixteenth Street patients and the communities it serves.