Our History

Our History 2017-11-08T10:15:50+00:00

Historic dates and milestones for the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Also available as a PDF: Our History at a Glance:

1970
  • The Madison Family Practice Residency Program is created; Marc Hansen, MD, hires John Renner, MD, to lead the program.
1971
  • The first two residents—David Kuter, MD, and Richard Larson, MD—enter the program.
  • Wingra Clinic opens.
1972
  • Verona Clinic opens.
1973
  • The UW Medical School approves the creation of the Department of Family Medicine and Practice, with John Renner, MD, appointed as chair.
  • Northeast Clinic opens.
1973-1978
  • Residency program sites open in Milwaukee (St. Mary’s Hospital), Waukesha, Eau Claire and Wausau.
1978
  • John Renner, MD, steps down as chair; William Scheckler, MD, appointed as interim chair, and then chair.
  • The Milwaukee and Waukesha sites affiliate with Medical College of Wisconsin.
1980
  • Residency program site established in Appleton.
  • Department establishes formal family medicine education for medical students.
1982
  • Eugene Farley, MD, MPH, is appointed chair.
1984
  • Department establishes a research division.
  • Faculty members Michael Fleming, MD, MPH, Patrick McBride, MD, and James Davis, MD, MS, attract major research funding for the department.
1985
  • Department establishes an outreach and development division with external funding.
  • Correctional medicine and community-oriented primary care projects begin.
1987
  • Wisconsin Research Network (WReN) established.
1988
  • Primary care sports medicine fellowship established.
1989
  • St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency Program in Milwaukee affiliates with the department.
1990
  • UW–Madison Physician Assistant Program joins the department.
  • UW Medical School approves a new primary care requirement for third-year medical students.
1991
  • John Beasley, MD, and James Damos, MD, create the first Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) course.
1992
  • Eugene Farley, MD, MPH, steps down as chair; Richard Roberts, MD, JD, is appointed interim chair.
1993
  • John Frey, MD, is appointed chair.
  • Primary care research fellowship established.
1996
  • The first Rural Training Track is established in Baraboo. Additional tracks were subsequently established in Antigo and Augusta, and an urban track was established in Milwaukee at the Central City location.
1998
  • The Physicians Plus Medical Group merges with the UW Medical Foundation, adding over 50 practicing physicians to the department. Clinics affiliated with the merged organization become UW Health clinics (both community and residency).
2000-2008
  • The department’s statewide residency programs are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association to train Doctors of Osteopathy.
  • Four department faculty hold leadership positions at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (formerly the UW Medical School).
  • Department research faculty gain national and international recognition.
  • Almost every residency clinic in the state is remodeled or rebuilt.
2001
  • Academic fellowship established.
2003
  • Integrative medicine fellowship established.
2006
  • John Frey, MD, steps down as chair; James Davis, MD, MS, is appointed interim chair.
2007
  • WReN program is renamed Wisconsin Research and Education Network (WREN).
2008
  • Valerie Gilchrist, MD, is appointed chair.
2009
  • Wingra Clinic partners with Access Community Health Centers and becomes a Federally Qualified Health Center.
2010
2011
  • Complementary and alternative medicine research and addiction medicine fellowships established.
  • New Belleville, DeForest-Windsor and Yahara clinics open
2012
  • The Wausau residency program’s clinical operations are transitioned to Aspirus; the residency remains a UW-sponsored program.
  • Department faculty and staff helped launch the first Family Medicine Midwest conference.
2013
  • New clinic building at 1102 South Park Street opens. Access Wingra Family Medical Center moves to this location. Family physicians from the UW Health Odana Atrium clinic move to the Arboretum clinic, also in this location.
2015
  • The Fox Valley residency program transitioned to a new organization, Mosaic Family Health. The new organization is a collaboration with ThedaCare, Ministry Health Care and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • Department officially changes name to “Department of Family Medicine and Community Health“.
  • Department establishes an office of community health.
  • Department celebrates its 45th anniversary.
  • Statewide residency programs receive Osteopathic Recognition from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
2016
  • Department formalizes a new academic partnership with Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation; the La Crosse Family Medicine Residency Program at Gundersen Health System welcomes its first class of residents.
  • The Madison residency program receives a state grant to partially fund two new resident positions at the Belleville clinic that focus on rural health and expand the Madison residency by two per year.
2017
  • UW–Madison Physician Assistant Program transitions out of department to the School of Medicine and Public Health’s Office of Academic Affairs.
  • The Eau Claire residency program’s clinical operations are transitioned to Prevea Health; the residency remains a UW-sponsored program.
  • Department formalizes academic partnerships with the new Aurora Lakeland Rural Training Track Family Medicine Residency in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, and with the Waukesha Family Medicine Residency, which transitioned from Medical College of Wisconsin sponsorship to Aurora Health Care sponsorship.