In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers unveiled artist Mauricio Ramirez’s commemorative mural on an exterior wall of its Chavez Clinic on May 9.

Sixteenth Street began in a converted jewelry store on the south side of Milwaukee with a few passionate individuals who came together to provide health education, information and referrals to people of the community. 50 years later, Sixteenth Street is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in the state.

With four full service bilingual clinics, a satellite geriatric clinic, five in-school clinics, the largest WIC clinic in Wisconsin, the organization offers supplemental services and hundreds of partnerships across the community and city at large. While the clinics are the backbone of its work, Sixteenth Street is proud to be recognized as more than a health clinic – an integrated member of the neighborhoods it serves.

“Sixteenth Street prides itself on knowing from day one it was essential to reach well beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address social determinants that greatly impact one’s health,” said Dr. Julie Schuller, President and CEO of Sixteenth Street. “As the only source of healthcare for much of Milwaukee’s most vulnerable population, our mission has been grounded in not only in providing high quality medical and behavioral health care, but in giving individuals and families the support and services they need in the community to make wellness a sustainable reality.”

Sixteenth Street held a special press conference for the mural reveal with remarks from Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik, Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, and mural artist Mauricio Ramirez. The 50th anniversary celebration provided time to reflect on the past, embrace the present, and look ahead to the future.

At the core of this journey is Sixteenth Street’s community, despite its socioeconomic challenges, is filled with vibrancy, resiliency, and hope. The mural is a reflection of the generations the agency has cared for and its relationship with a community that has given as much to Sixteenth Street as it has received.

“The mural is a lasting gift to express our love for and dedication to the neighborhoods we’re privileged to serve, to celebrate our community and its rich culture, and to thank all our community members for their inspiration, trust and partnership – because after all, we all need to work together to build a healthy community,” added Schuller.

Nearly 40,000 individuals rely on Sixteenth Street for adult and pediatric medical services, behavioral health counseling and treatment, chronic disease management, supportive social services and health education.

Alison True

Karen Oliva