Healthcare and Fitness

Years ago, health care and fitness opportunities were not issues when it came to moving. No one gave much thought to the quality of care offered by local providers or the community’s commitment to a culture of health. All of that has changed. For many people, healthy lifestyle opportunities are among the most important considerations when choosing where to live.

Fortunately the Milwaukee area is perfect for those who want to stay active or become active. There are a variety of fitness clubs, tennis courts, swimming pools and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, including many that stretch across the Lake Michigan shoreline or wind through the hilly kettle moraine.

The region also offers access to some of the best medical care in the country. Wisconsin consistently ranks among the top five states in terms of quality of medical care delivered.  The Milwaukee area is home to three of the state's major tertiary-care hospitals, which provide the most advanced medical care available - Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and Froedtert Hospital.  The region is also home to the Medical College of Wisconsin, a major medical education research center.

WELL CITY Milwaukee

In 2015, Milwaukee became the only city in the nation to twice receive the Well City USA designation from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) for being a national leader in wellness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Milwaukee first received the award in 2010. Well City USA is a nationally recognized program that encourages employers to develop worksite wellness programs. The Milwaukee effort was led by Well City Milwaukee, a collaboration between the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the City of Milwaukee. In order to achieve the designation, 20 percent of employees in the city had to be employed by a company accredited as a “Well Workplace.“

However, Milwaukee isn’t the only community in southeastern Wisconsin committed to healthy lifestyles. There are many cities and villages in the five-county area where employers and residents alike are dedicated to fitness. Some of this comes from Wisconsin’s geography and outdoor culture. Miles of lakefront parks offer a beautiful setting for jogging, walking and biking. Recognized as a national leader, the Milwaukee County Park System includes more than 15,000 acres of parks, many of them with trails, tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools.

Bike Trails

There are several major bike trails throughout the metropolitan area:

  • Oak Leaf Trail: 96-mile trail meanders in and around Milwaukee County including an extended length along the lakefront
  • Ozaukee Interurban Trail: 30-mile paved path through Cedar Grove, Belgium, Port Washington, Grafton, Cedarburg, Mequon and Theinsville in Ozaukee County
  • Hank Aaron State Trail: 13.5 mile trail that follows the Menomonee River from Lake Michigan west past Miller Park
  • Glacial Drumlin Trail: a 13-mile section of the 52-mile state trail winds through the country near the Waukesha County communities of Dousman, Pewaukee and Waukesha
  • Lake Country Recreation Trail: 13-mile trail located on a former interurban railroad that connected the city of Waukesha with the county’s “Lake Country” 
  • Bugline Trail: 12-mile trail in and around suburban Menomonee Falls in northwestern Waukesha County
  • New Berlin Recreation Trail: 7-mile paved path that cuts through mostly rural New Berlin to connect West Allis in Milwaukee County with Waukesha in Waukesha County
  • Muskego Recreation Trail: 6.7-mile trail that follows a former interurban railroad path from Big Bend in Waukesha
  • City of Franklin Hike and Bike Trail: 1.5-mile trail through urban and rural terrain. Connects with the Muskego Recreation Trail at the Milwaukee–Waukesha county line

On the western and northern edges of the metropolitan area, the glacier-formed kettle moraine offers challenging trails for mountain bikers.

Health Care

Milwaukee has a respected medical community that includes educational and research facilities; integrated health care systems that coordinate clinic, inpatient and oupatient care; several specialty hospitals and a variety of health care plans ranging from traditional fee-for-service programs to health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

The Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, a sprawling campus of hospitals, outpatient clinics, health-related educational facilities and research centers, is located in the center of the metropolitan area. It includes Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, a 296-bed, acute-care hospital that is consistently ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation; Froedtert Hospital, which operates the state’s only Level 1 Trauma Center; the Medical College of Wisconsin, one of the nation’s largest private medical schools; the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, which operates an internationally recognized blood research center; and the Curative Care Network, which is one of the most comprehensive rehabilitation centers in the country. The regional medical center isn’t the only place offering advanced medical care, however. There are major hospitals located in downtown Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha, as well as community hospitals in the suburban communities of Franklin, Grafton, Kenosha, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Summit, West Allis and West Bend.

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