UW Health & UW−Madison School of Nursing Academic-Practice Partnership

American Family Children’s Hospital & UW−Madison School of Nursing Academic Practice Partnership

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

History of the Partnership

The partnership between the American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) and the School of Nursing (SoN) pediatric faculty serves as an exemplar of the larger partnership with UW Health. Nationally, there are increasing numbers of children with chronic health conditions and complex special health care needs. These children require comprehensive interprofessional services across settings. National and regional data also show a growing prevalence of children, particularly among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, who live in poverty and experience health disparities. There is a gap in the preparedness of a pediatric nursing workforce with regard to education, practice, research, and policy to optimize the health and development of these children and well-being of their families. The nursing leadership of AFCH and the SoN recognize this gap, which is the focus of the AFCH/SoN Academic Practice Partnership.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of children and their families through an Academic Practice Partnership. Our vision is that all children will have access to and receive evidence-based, family-centered care by a professional pediatric nursing work force. Our mission and vision are actualized through our collaborative work in the domains of education, practice, research, and health policy.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, led by research faculty of the School of Nursing, exists to facilitate accomplishing the goals of the Academic Practice Partnership. The committee, comprised of representatives from both institutions, meets regularly to discuss collaborative opportunities, review goal progress, share successes, and plan activities and initiatives to advance child and family nursing.

Committee Members


  • Laura Ahola
  • Leanne Marso
  • Lori Williams

School of Nursing

  • Lori Anderson
  • Anne Ersig
  • Sue Gaard
  • Kitty Montgomery
  • Karen Pridham
  • Tracy Saladar
  • Traci Snedden

Pediatric Practice and Academic Learning (PPAL) Network

The Pediatric Practice and Academic Learning (PPAL) Network is a community of nurses and nursing students who care about the future of the pediatric nursing work force and access to evidence-based, family centered care for all children. PPAL is led by an Academic Practice Partnership between the UW−Madison School of Nursing and American Family Children’s Hospital.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What does PPAL do?

We connect and engage with nurses in Wisconsin and beyond who are passionate about child and family nursing.

We share information on opportunities for education, service learning, and leadership development, and findings from research studies and evidence-based practice projects.

We collaborate on research and projects on a range of topics, including:

  • Respite care for families of children with chronic health conditions
  • Use of and education on telehealth for children and families
  • Exploring the symptom experiences of children with cancer
  • Exploring nurses’ roles and experiences in providing pre- and post-surgical care to children and families
  • Working with children who have congenital heart conditions and their families
  • And many others!

How do I join PPAL?

We share news, events, opportunities and resources through a moderated Google Group called the PPAL Network. All activities are virtual until it is safe for us to convene in person. If you are interested in joining us or would like to learn more, please send a message to Anne Ersig at anne.ersig@wisc.edu or Sue Gaard at sgaard@wisc.edu. Membership is free.


To learn more or to join, please send a message to Anne Ersig at anne.ersig@wisc.edu or Sue Gaard at sgaard@wisc.edu. Membership is free.

Contact Us

APP Co-Chairs & Program Support

Susan J. Zahner, DrPH, RN, FAAN

Position title: Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor

Email: sjzahner@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-5282

Michele Glynn, DNP, RN-BC

Position title: Director, Nursing Education and Development, UW Health

Email: MGlynn@uwhealth.org

Meredith Temple

Position title: Special Projects Coordinator

Email: meredith.temple@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-5240


Anne L. Ersig, PhD, RN

Position title: Assistant Professor

Email: anne.ersig@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-5251

Sue Gaard, MS, RN

Position title: Nursing Professional Development Director

Email: sgaard@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-6352