About the Business Leadership Network

The Business Leadership Network (BLN) fosters ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships between the UI College of Public Health and small and medium-sized businesses and communities in Iowa. Through these relationships the College hopes to engage and collaborate with communities in development of cutting-edge, high impact public health research, enhance educational program with service learning opportunities within businesses, and encourage creating the culture of health throughout communities.

In 2011, the BLN began reaching out to communities in discussions of local public health needs as seen through the eyes of business, industry, community, education, and healthcare leaders within towns across Iowa.

“The network grew out of the recognition that so much of what public health does is very place-based,” says Sue Curry, Distinguished Professor of Health Management and Policy and Former Dean of the College of Public Health. “It happens out in the ‘real world,’ where people live and work, and we believe it’s beneficial to all parties involved for the college to foster collaborative relationships with communities and businesses around the state.”

A Steering Committee of industry, business, and community leaders works with the College to advise the work of the Network.

The BLN has focused on creating relationships in areas of the state where the college has not traditionally had a strong presence. Community outreach began in 2011 in the north-central and south-central areas of the state. In 2014, the Network expanded into 14 additional western counties. The Network now includes all 99 of Iowa’s counties.

Read a recent story on how the BLN has backed health and wellness initiatives in small to mid-sized towns across Iowa, providing grants and expertise that allow these community efforts to flourish.

“In any field, there is a gap between what is known and what is practiced. The Business Leadership Network helps to fill that gap in public health by serving as a conduit for information and resources between the College of Public Health and Iowa businesses and communities.”

— Don Woodruff
President, Woodruff Construction in Ft. Dodge
BLN Steering Committee Member

“Having healthy and safe employees is important for any company, and working with the college and other businesses to share information and expertise is a real benefit.”

— Gerald Edgar
Former Health and Safety Manager
Mitas Tires North America in Charles City
BLN Steering Committee Member