UI College of Public Health and BLN announce Community Grant awards

Business Leadership Network logoThe University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network announced seven award recipients under the fourth annual round of the Community Grant Program.

The recipients of the fourth round of funding are: Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, Mason City; Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, Fort Dodge; Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison; Living Proof Exhibit, Davenport; Muscatine Center for Social Action, Muscatine; North Fayette Valley Community Coalition, Inc., Elgin; and Siouxland District Health Department, Sioux City. The organizations received cash grant awards of up to $3,000.

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

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health will install sensory pathways within five elementary schools in Mason City and Clear Lake to provide a physical activity outlet for students to utilize between class times. Similar pathways have been found to improve attention and behaviors of students in the classroom, and provide a convenient and effective way for youth to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way will provide beds and cribs for children living in poverty in Fort Dodge. Good sleep is critical for a child’s health, well-being, and ability to learn. A partnership with local schools, health care providers, the Webster County Health Department and nonprofits will help identify children who need beds.

Lee County Health Department, in conjunction with the Live Healthy Lee County Coalition, will plan three events at the three area farmers markets in Fort Madison, Montrose, and Keokuk. At the events, community partners will provide health and wellness information, health screenings, and promote biking to the markets with the goal of increasing participation in the markets and increasing awareness to community health services.

The Living Proof Exhibit uses the healing power of the arts to help individuals touched by cancer. Throughout the Quad Cities and in Muscatine, the grant will fund “Art-to-Go” boxes filled with a variety of art projects that cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment can use to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve overall well-being.

The Muscatine Center for Social Action, the primary homeless service provider in Southeast Iowa, will work to increase hygienic and sustainable sleeping options for guests staying in their Emergency Overnight Shelter. Grant funds will help eradicate pests and provide new mattresses, washer and dryer, and storage containers for guests’ bedding.

The North Fayette Valley Community Coalition will provide the Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning (YELL) program to North Fayette Valley Middle School students (grades 6-8). YELL teaches students to use their voice to address the concerns of their peers and community while making responsible and healthy choices. Students will work together to problem-solve, set goals, learn how to resolve conflicts, and make their school and community a better and safer place.

The Siouxland District Health Department will partner with two child care centers to implement the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC). This evidence-based program will provide the centers with the tools to increase healthy food and physical activity options for younger children in the Siouxland area.

“These projects strengthen community health at the local level and make an impact where people live, work, and play,” says Edith Parker, dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health. “This grant program demonstrates the college’s commitment to partnering with communities and businesses to enhance well-being across Iowa.”

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, 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 first round of grant funding was awarded in 2015. This fourth year’s grant funding was available to nonprofit organizations and local government entities across Iowa. Details about the grant program, as well as additional information about the Business Leadership Network is available at: www.public-health.uiowa.edu/bln.

Business Leadership Network announces 2018 Community Grant awards

The University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network announced six award recipients through the third year of the Community Grant Project. The organizations will receive cash grant awards of up to $3,000.

The recipients of the third round of funding are: Cass County Memorial Hospital, Atlantic; Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition, Fayette; Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison; Living Proof Exhibit, Davenport; Muscatine Center for Social Action, Muscatine; and Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo. (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 are excited to support these locally initiated projects to improve community health,” says Edith Parker, professor and head of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the UI 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 third round of grant funding was available to nonprofit organizations and local government entities across Iowa. Learn more details about the grant program, as well as additional information about the Business Leadership Network.

Community Grant Award Projects

  • Cass County Memorial Hospital, Atlantic
    The Walk Cass County! project aims to expand and encourage walking as a way to connect families and friends while gaining health benefits. Through their Healthy Cass County division, they will work to provide walking maps with routes of varying lengths in each of the eight cities in the county to help residents become more active.
  • Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition, Fayette
    The Teen Maze: A Reality Check for Youth project is an experiential learning activity which provides youth in Fayette County the opportunity to see the consequences of their choices in a safe and guided learning environment. This project addresses substance use and mental health issues, healthy relationships, safety, and nutrition. Teen Maze aims to aid youth in understanding how today’s choices can affect their future goals.
  • Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison
    Lee County’s Community Garden and Senior Produce Box project will support the Live Healthy Lee County Coalition to develop and implement a community garden project. Produce grown from the garden will be donated to a senior community produce box project in rural areas where access to healthy foods is limited for older residents.
  • Living Proof Exhibit, Davenport
    The Using Art to Improve the Quality of Life of Quad Citizens Touched by Cancer project will offer 18 art sessions to people touched by cancer, with four bilingual programs offered in Muscatine and the remainder in Scott and Rock Island counties. Participants create something beautiful while having the opportunity to talk to and connect with others impacted by cancer. The sessions help participants fulfill a need for hope, support, or healing.
  • Muscatine Center for Social Action, Muscatine
    The Rapid Rehousing Food Stability Program introduces or reinforces and supports healthy nutritional behaviors and enables better food choices for families living in poverty. Participating families receive a healthy food delivery on the last week of their SNAP calendar month, a week they typically experience a food shortage. The food stability program provides each family with a crock pot, healthy snacks, food for one crock pot meal, and recipes made with affordable ingredients.
  • Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo
    The Senior Freezer Meal Prep and Cooking project aims to decrease meals that offer poor nutritional quality and help increase consumption of protein, vegetables, and high quality grains. Seniors in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Jackson, and Marshall Counties will be provided with a new slow cooker, education on food safety, and already prepared meal kits for storage in a freezer. Meal prep will be done in a group setting to create a social event and help combat loneliness and social isolation.