Community Health Organizations (Resource Hub)


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American Red Cross - Wisconsin Region

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​ We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available to health professionals. We are looking for volunteers to support various health activities at our blood drives, help families that have experienced a home fire, and provide mental health support to members of our military and disaster clients.

Volunteers carry out 90% of the humanitarian work of the American Red Cross and we need the help of health professionals to fulfill our mission. Our opportunities range from supporting various health activities at blood drives to serving victims of local and national disasters. Please find volunteer positions for students, alumni, and health professionals on our website. Join us today to help save lives!

Questions? Please email Sarah Luth, Volunteer Partnership and Community Outreach Specialist, at

The Beacon - Homeless Day Resource Center

The Beacon is an incredible place to build interpersonal skills and experience that are necessary in health professions. You will meet a wide variety of people who are currently experiencing homelessness. Volunteers provide essential services and have a chance to learn, along the way, about guests’ experiences as well as the barriers they face as they seek stability through more reliable income, stable housing, and better health.

Beacon volunteers do the day-to-day work to ensure that guests have access to basic services including showers, laundry services, computer lab, and meals. As more people become homeless due to the economic impact of COVID, the demand for services increases while many of our usual volunteers are choosing to shelter at home due to underlying health conditions or the need to care for family members. Many protocols and precautions have been put into place at The Beacon to protect guests, volunteers, and staff. Shifts are offered 7 days a week, between 8am and 4pm.

Questions? Please email Lynn Currie, Volunteer Coordinator, at or call 608-826-8022.

See what UW-Madison pre-health students have to say about the Beacon!


BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center

BraveHearts aims to be the premier model for connecting horses with people as a catalyst for wellness. We want everyone to have the opportunity to discover healing horsemanship through our model. As a 501(c)3, non-profit, BraveHearts provides a variety of equine-assisted therapy opportunities at our two full-time farms in Northern Illinois.

Positive changes happen in our littlest to our oldest of clients. With an expansive program for military veterans, individuals of various diagnoses, and an outpatient clinic, BraveHearts welcomes a large and dynamic population on a daily basis allowing for not only a great educational experience, but personal development as well. No prior horse knowledge is required. BraveHearts has a variety of trainings offered to help you learn the ways around the farm.

Testimonials about BraveHearts:

  • “BraveHearts has been a lift raft for me.”
  • “BraveHearts made my heart brave again.”

Questions? Please email Amber Eck at

Center for Patient Partnerships

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 students seek immersive, practical experiences to deepen advocacy skills for the health and social sectors. Students can apply for a certificate program, enroll in individual courses, or complete field placements, clerkships and fellowships.

Want to learn more? Please find information about educational opportunities on our website.

Questions? Please email Paula Evenson, Student Services Specialist, at

And follow us on Facebook!

Dairyland Sports

Sport is a vehicle that fosters positive physical and mental health, personal development, and community engagement for individuals of all physical abilities, ages, and experience levels. Individuals with physical disabilities have historically been marginalized in the sports and fitness community and experience disproportionately higher rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as lower quality of life compared to peers living without a physical disability.

Dairyland Sports is a non-profit organization based out of Madison, Wisconsin, which aims to engage and empower individuals of all ages, physical abilities, and experiences to improve their health and well-being through lifelong participation in sports, fitness, & recreation. Founder and President, Dr. Jacob Graboski, is a recent graduate from the UW-Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (2020) and is committed to working closely with pre-health students and alumni to offer annual service learning opportunities, education, and hands-on experiences training and interacting with athletes with physical disabilities. If you have a passion for community-based healthcare, advocating for social equality and equitable access, and developing innovative health services for individuals with physical disabilities, Dairyland Sports is the organization for you!

Dairyland Sports provides service-learning opportunities for UW Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy students on an annual basis – allowing for a unique and interactive learning environment for students, volunteers, adaptive athletes, and their families. Students interested in a career in Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, Recreational Therapy, Pediatrics, and Sports Medicine are highly encouraged to apply.

Questions? Please email Dr. Jacob Graboski, President & Founder,

Extended Hands Pantry

Extended Hands Pantry is a faith-based, grass roots, charitable organization. We aim to reduce the racial achievement gap in our schools, and our practical approach is two-fold: getting access to healthy food and tutoring in neighborhood centers.

We operate a mobile pantry, 2 times a week at Lighthouse Church and School. Open to anyone, the pantry primarily serves the Latinx population in Dane County. Working at the pantry is a wonderful opportunity to serve a diverse, Spanish speaking population in Madison. We are open Mondays and Fridays!

The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

Established in June 2012, The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness is a Wisconsin based non-profit organization committed to mobilizing African American women to pursue and sustain mind-body-spirit wellness, and to raise the visibility and support of Black women’s health as a community and public health priority.

We offer healthcare, research, service, and stipended internships (based on needs and budget) to students and alumni. Please learn more on our website!

Henry Vilas Zoo

We are proud to be one of only a few admission-free, community-supported zoos across the country. The Henry Vilas Zoo is one of ten remaining free zoos in North America. As an accredited AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) zoo, our mission is to conserve and protect the wonders of the natural living world. We are dedicated to exceptional animal care and conserving wildlife through local engagement and global partnerships.

Please learn about volunteering with us!

Questions? Please email Lauren Salzmann, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at

NAMI Dane County

“NAMI Dane County has supported, educated, and affirmed me in my story, while giving me the courage and skills to share my experience with others.” (Testimonial from Volunteer with NAMI Dane County)

NAMI Dane County offers many opportunities for volunteers to share their experiences with mental health challenges through presentations in the community at local schools and other community organizations. Please reach out if you are interested in volunteering with NAMI Dane County! And visit our website for more information about volunteer opportunities or reach out to our volunteer coordinator, Jake King, at

NewBridge Madison

NewBridge Madison is a private non-profit serving older adults in Madison and Monona. Our mission is to provide older adults with a bridge to successful aging. Our programs and services include case management, caregiver support, cultural diversity, food Bridge delivery, home chores, loan closet, mental health resources, nutrition meal sites/Dietitian, senior activities, volunteer guardian, and representative payees.

Questions? Please email Jim Krueger at

Riverwest Food Pantry

Recognizing that everyone has gifts to share, Riverwest Food Pantry is a community food center that engages volunteers and community residents to end hunger, isolation and poverty. Our innovative programs nourish health, belonging and economic opportunity. We live as a Community of Generosity: everyone has something to give, everyone has something to receive. At the heart of our community are mission interns who live a life of intentional community and service to the pantry. The Mission House internship is available to people ages 21-26 from any background of study who are open to Catholic spiritual teaching and life.

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions!

UW BASES Program

BASES is a program that pairs UW student mentors (undergraduate and graduate) with early elementary school students in the Transition Education Program (TEP) in several Madison schools. Mentors provide weekly in-school support for a student 1–2 hours a week over the academic year. BASES has class and service learning components. Students are prepared for this experience in a biweekly class that focuses on the potential of 1-on-1 mentoring relationships to aid young children’s adjustment to school and how to foster resilience both in and outside of school.

Mentors also learn about the effects of poverty and trauma on child development through guest lectures, films, readings, reflective writing assignments, and discussions. Class exercises are designed to support student learning about homelessness, mentoring, societal forces, racial inequities, and emotionally responsive teaching.

Who are our mentees?

  • TEP identified students in MMSD schools
  • Primarily (though not always) grades 4K-2nd
  • Particularly students who have been identified as most likely to benefit from focused one-on-one in-classroom support

How do we define our purpose?

  • To support the academic, social and emotional development of children who are currently, or who have previously, experienced homelessness
  • To contribute to building the capacity of schools, teachers and communities in supporting the needs of children experiencing homelessness
  • To build healthy, supportive and meaningful relationships with young children

Important note: mentors are not tutors—they are support systems for the holistic development of children experiencing homelessness

Are you interested in working with children and learning about experiences of homelessness, trauma and resilience in Madison public schools? Can make a year-long commitment during which you will visit with your mentee and participate in a group service learning class? Fill out an application for the 2021-2022 academic year today!

Questions? Please email Chase Ochrach, Course Instructor, at

UW Health - Volunteer Services

At UW Health, our volunteers play an important role in the overall success of our organization. They assist patients, their families, and visitors to our facilities and are valued members of the health care team. Through the generous contribution of their time, volunteers add to the quality of care and service provided by UW Health and help further our mission of excellence in patient care.

Please find open volunteer positions on our website.

Questions? Please email us at

Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)

Wisconsin AHEC creates education and training opportunities in partnership with academic institutions, including UW Madison, and community-based organizations throughout the state to increase the diversity and distribution of the healthcare workforce and to enhance healthcare quality and delivery in rural and underserved communities. We offer a variety of statewide and regional programs for learners interested in gaining experience in and exploring health care delivery and public health in diverse communities. Our hallmark programs include AHEC Scholars, a 2-year program designed to provide students with enhanced didactic and experiential learning opportunities beyond their degree program, Community Health Internship Program, an 8-week long paid summer internship experience, Wisconsin Express, a week-long cultural immersion experience, and our annual Interprofessional Case Competition, a healthcare case study simulation experience. Our year-round programs emphasize such core topics as interprofessional education, social determinants of health, and cultural competency and humility, to best prepare the next generation of health professionals.

“AHEC has opened my eyes to the multitude of issues that people living in rural and underserved communities face when accessing healthcare. I feel fortunate to have completed this program and will take the knowledge and insights gained forward with me in my nursing practice. ”

– Abby E, Wisconsin AHEC Scholar Graduate

Questions? Please email Liz Bush, Director, Wisconsin AHEC Program, at

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