Business Leadership Network announces Community Grant awards

Published on December 12, 2016

Business Leadership Network logoThe University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network announced seven award recipients through the second year of the Community Grant Program. The organizations received cash grant awards of $3,000.

The recipients of the second round of funding are: Athletics for Education and Success, Fort Dodge; Carry on Bags, Fairfield; Fort Dodge Senior High School, Fort Dodge; Main Street Ottumwa, Ottumwa; Rathbun Lake Area YMCA, Centerville; United Way of Wapello County, Ottumwa; and Van Buren County Hospital – Healthy Villages, Keosauqua. (The projects are described in more detail below.)

The grant program funds, in conjunction with an equal cash or in-kind match from another organization or business, will be used for public health-related initiatives and projects in the recipient communities.

“We’re excited to support these locally initiated projects to improve community health,” says Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health. “The grant program is one way the college is partnering with communities and business leaders across the state to increase the well-being of Iowans.”

The College of Public Health provided the grants as part of its Business Leadership Network (BLN) initiative. Some of the funds for the grant program are provided by the UI Provost’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. The BLN, established in 2011, fosters ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships between the College of Public Health and small and medium-sized businesses and communities in Iowa. Through these relationships, the college engages and collaborates with communities in development of cutting-edge, high impact public health research, enhances educational programs with service learning opportunities within businesses, and promotes a culture of health throughout communities.

The second round of grant funding was available to nonprofit organizations and local government entities within the Business Leadership Network regions in north central, west central, and south central Iowa. Details about the grant program, as well as additional information about the Business Leadership Network, is available at:

Community Grant Award Projects

  • Fort Dodge Senior High School, Fort Dodge
    Project: High school students will work to bring awareness to mental health issues and advance the well-being of youth through theatrical performances at K-12 schools, civic organizations, and conferences. Topics will include substance abuse and suicide prevention, anti-bullying, and diversity acceptance.
  • United Way of Wapello County, Ottumwa
    Project: To reduce diabetes and obesity by making healthy eating easier for families living in poverty. Free cooking classes, a free crockpot, and healthy recipes utilizing food items families receive from local food pantries and community gardens will be provided.
  • Rathbun Lake Area YMCA, Centerville
    Project: To sustain the health of seniors who have completed physical therapy in order to continue their employment, live independently, and stay engaged in their community. New fitness equipment will provide safe low-impact workouts.
  • Athletics for Education and Success, Fort Dodge
    Project: To provide low-income, at-risk, and underserved adults and families safe and affordable fitness and social activities to help fight obesity, promote healthy choices, and improve quality of life.
  • Carry on Bags, Fairfield
    Project: To determine the most nutritional and effective food items for their program that provides free supplemental meals for food-insecure children outside of school hours.
  • Main Street Ottumwa, Ottumwa
    Project: To build creative placemaking capacity; improve community livability; inspire collaboration between arts, public health, transportation, and economic development; and develop a model for quick, cost-effective creative placemaking.
  • Van Buren County Hospital – Healthy Villages, Keosauqua
    Project: To provide health and wellness education to community members through adding instructional signage to new exercise stations along the newly built Riverfront Trail. Signs will also include educational tips such as how to determine a target heart rate.