Mayor Tom Barrett awards a proclamation to Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker and Alderman Willie Wade (pictured at left), naming the day Keenan Health Center Day on December 13. The proclamation presentation was part of the celebration recognizing 80 years of providing health services to the public. The Matthew Keenan Health Center was first opened its doors in 1932 at the corner of 36th Street and Auer Avenue.Today, the center accommodates more than 15,000 clinic visits each year for men, women, infants and children around immunization, safe sleep, tuberculosis and refugee health and STD and HIV/AIDS clinics as well as for assistance accessing insurance and other health care services. (Photo courtesy of City of Milwaukee Health Department)
It was 1932 when the doors first opened to a new community health center at the corner of 36th Street and Auer Avenue in Milwaukee. Eighty years later, the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Matthew Keenan Health Center continues to impact the health of the Milwaukee community.
Today, the City will honor the Center’s lasting impact by naming Dec. 13, Keenan Health Center Day.
“Though founded 80 years ago, Keenan Health Center is key to helping us address today’s health issues,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “When we are facing issues like infant mortality, teen pregnancy, and too-high rates
of STDs and HIV, to know that thousands are accessing services here shows the impact that one center can have on the health of the entire community.”
Mayor Barrett, alongside 7th District Alderman Willie Wade and Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker, will join guests at the Center at 9:30 a.m. for remarks and a presentation.
“Keenan Health Center has been in our community for eight decades. To have a health center with such a long history and strong mission still working in our community today is powerful,” said Alderman Wade.
Keenan Health Center was built through a monetary gift to the City by the estate of Matthew and Antoinette Keenan.
It bears the name of Matthew Keenan, who died in 1898 after serving as clerk of the Circuit Court, tax commissioner, and alderman before eventually becoming vice president and trustee of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
His estate was endowed to the City by his wife, and was dedicated to the conservation of health and prevention of disease for the people of Milwaukee.
Today, the Center accommodates more than 15,000 clinic visits each year for men, women, infants and children around immunizations, safe sleep, tuberculosis and refugee health and STD and HIV/AIDS clinics as well as for assistance accessing insurance and other health care services.
“Today we are honoring the past while looking toward the future,” said Commissioner Baker.
“Keenan Health Center has been instrumental in fighting the diseases of yesterday like polio, but we now look toward our modern challenges and better health outcomes for everyone we serve today.”
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