Registration open for Iowa Summit on Underage Drinking

Iowa Summit: Underage Drinking & Social Host Laws

September 13, 2018
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Animal Rescue League, 5452 N.E. 22nd St, Des Moines, IA 50313


How do we successfully prevent underage drinking?

Do social host laws make a difference?

What other ideas do you have to help prevent underage drinking?

Be part of the conversation.  Join us for a community summit to learn the latest research on Iowa’s social host laws and how to impact underage drinking.
Register here by September 6, 2018

(Or use this link in browser: )


  • Opening remarks
  • Presentation of research project and findings
    • Paul Gilbert, PhD, Assistant Professor at University of Iowa, Policy Fellow with the University of Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy
  • Panel of expert commentary
    • Angie Asa-Lovstad, Alliance of Coalitions for Change
    • Julie Hibben, Iowa Department of Public Health
    • Greg Graver, Jones County Sheriff
  • Working lunch (lunch is provided)
    • Develop next steps related to alcohol policy and practice

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the College of Public Health in advance at (319) 384-1500.

Janssen to lead collaboratory focusing on overdose prevention in Iowa

Portrait of Brandi Janssen, clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Brandi Janssen

Brandi Janssen, CPH clinical assistant professor of occupational and environmental health, has been selected by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP) to establish a new collaboratory that will gather data to help prevent drug overdoses in Iowa.

A collaboratory is a creative group process designed to solve complex problems and brings together collaborators from different backgrounds and disciplines to expand the scope, scale, and impact of critical public health research. Janssen’s team will collaborate on a project titled “Iowa Substance Use Data Set: Preventing Overdoes Through Actionable Data.” The project is intended to be a first step toward developing the Iowa Substance Use Data Set, a multi-stream, multi-sourced, comprehensive data warehouse for partners, and will include information directly from substance users.

“This data base will be different from existing substance use information sources in that its focus is on timeliness, local relevance, and integration of multiple data sets,” Janssen explains. “The team hopes to design a data warehouse infrastructure to manage storing, updating, and sharing pertinent data. In addition, we will identify the data needs of providers and stakeholders regarding substance misuse and abuse and will design the data structure and applications to accommodate those needs.”

In addition to Janssen, the collaborators include:

  • Stephan Arndt, PhD, Professor, Carver College of Medicine, Psychiatry; College of Public Health, Biostatistics; Director, Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation
  • Ryan Carnahan, PharmD, CPH, Associate Professor, Epidemiology
  • Heath Davis, MS ITIL, Lead Application Developer, Bio-Medical Informatics, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Carver College of Medicine
  • Juan Pablo Hourcade, PhD, Associate Professor, CLAS, Computer Science
  • Boyd Knosp, MS, Associate Dean for Information Technology, Carver College of Medicine. Associate Director for Biomedical Informatics Operations, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
  • Anna Merrill, PhD, DABCC, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Carver College of Medicine; Clinical Chemist, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Iowa City VA Health Care System, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • Jennifer Sánchez, PhD, CRC, Assistant Professor, CLAS, College of Education, Rehabilitation and Counselor Education

Read more about the IIPHRP collaboratories and their work.

Global Rural Health Case Competition winners announced

Armed with well-researched plans, information-packed slides, and seamless teamwork, six student teams competed for top honors and cash prizes in the inaugural Global Rural Health Case Competition held April 4 at the College of Public Health.

The teams were given a case centered on the ongoing power crisis in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Their mission: to present feasible, sustainable solutions to restore health, hope, and resiliency to Puerto Rico. The teams were tasked with addressing multiple systems such as power, water, health, and communications as well as ideas around infrastructure, policy, and sustainability to prevent this type of breakdown in the future. The students had about two weeks to research and develop their proposals with limited guidance from a faculty mentor.

On competition day, each team had 15 minutes to present their recommendations, followed by 10 minutes of questions from a panel of five judges. The teams were made up of graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds.

“We had students from 14 different disciplines representing five colleges across the university,” says Vickie Miene, interim director of the Institute of Public Health Research and Policy. “It was really exciting to see the collaboration with public health. All of the teams did an outstanding job.”

Bringing the experience full circle, the winning team has announced that they will donate their winnings totaling $2,500 to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

The top three teams were:

1st place – Aequitas 

  • Monisa Saravanan, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Elijah Olivas, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Matthew Poch, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Anthony Emigh, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Kevin Rivera, Medicine

2rd place – The Iowinners 

  • Kayla Faust, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Yanni Liang, Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Ben Ertl, Industrial Engineering; Finance
  • Kylor Sorenson, Health Management and Policy; Business Administration
  • Kirsten Carew, Medicine; Business Administration

 3nd place – GlobalVill 

  • Whitney Bash-Brooks, Community and Behavioral Health
  • Redwan Bin Abdul Baten, Health Management and Policy
  • Catherine Chioreso, Epidemiology
  • Arwin Shrestha, Ophthalmology; Cellular Engineering

The case competition was organized by the Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and the College of Public Health’s Global Public Health Initiative. Funding for the case competition was generously provided by John Deere and Dale and Linda Baker.

If you would like to view the case intervention presentations, they can be accessed at UICapture. The case study is available for download.

Speaker to address maternal mental health disparities

Maternal Mental Health Disparities and Patient Engagement in Research

Karen Tabb Dina, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois School of Social Work

Thursday, April 12
3:30-4:30 pm

Abstract: Women’s mental health during the perinatal period is critically important.  Currently there are no best practices for screening for depression and addressing mental health needs in public health clinics. Clinic staff are often responsible for performing depression screening, however, few studies examine staff perceptions on feasibility and acceptability of using perinatal screening for mood disorders in ethnically diverse public health clinics. We conducted focus group interviews with public health staff (n=25) to learn how a multidisciplinary clinical staff addresses mental health in their clinic. Most participants identified multiple barriers to universal depression screening in a public health clinic, but at the same time found value in the practice of screening low-income women for depression. The findings from the focus group study established the foundation for a university-community partnership to improve maternal health outcomes at the county level in Illinois. The partnership has grown into a local initiative and is now in the early stages of developing a patient centered outcomes research community.

Sponsored by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and the Iowa Perinatal Health Research Collaborative

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the College of Public Health in advance at 319-384-1500.


IIPHRP now accepting applications for collaboratory funding

The Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy is now accepting applications for collaboratory funding.

A collaboratory is a creative group process designed to solve complex problems that brings the opportunity for new organizational networks to form. A collaboratory methodology expands the scope, scale, and impact of public health research.

Interested parties can access application materials at the IIPHRP collaboratory website.

Some key dates to remember:

Informational meeting April 16 (3-4 p.m., N502 CPHB)
Letter of intent due May 1
Full proposal due May 21
Notification of awards will begin June 15
Project start date July 1
Project end date June 30, 2019


A successful collaboratory leads to a sustainable research initiative such as a large research, service or center grant proposal that bolsters and builds upon areas of research closely linked to the CPH’s three areas of excellence: rural health, comparative effectiveness research, and community engagement.

Please contact Vickie Miene with questions about this opportunity.

IIPHRP report identifies strategies to improve state public health data utilization

A recent report from the University of Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP) suggests that a statewide public health database, the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal (IPHTP), is currently under-utilized but has the potential to be a tool that could significantly enhance evidence-based, public health decision-making in Iowa.

The IPHTP is a public web-based portal that provides state and county level public health data to a variety of audiences including public health practitioners, elected officials, educators, researchers, and the public.

This report was produced in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Publc Health (IDPH), which contracted IIPHRP to conduct a public health data needs assessment to help them understand the needs of stakeholders and the role of the IPHTP.

IIPHRP identified several strategies to improve data utilization for public health professionals including prioritizing resources based on the identification of primary user audiences and development of training tools for specific workforce development and continuing education regarding the use of public health data.

The full report is available at

In response to the assessment, IIPHRP and IDPH have developed a series of training videos to help users understand some of the common definitions and terms sued in public health data reporting and analysis.

The videos are available at

Authors of the report are Vickie Miene, Nichole Nidey, Jim Torner, and Anjali Deshpande from the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Webinar on strategies to end bicycle crashes now available

Strategies to End Fatal Bicycle Crashes in Iowa: Policy, legislative, and infrastructure solutions

Presented Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Presentation Overview

This webinar provides an overview of where Iowa stands in terms of bicyclist crashes and fatalities, the status of the Iowa DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Long Range Plan, engineering and policy solutions, and priorities and recommendations for the 2018 legislative session. The mother of Sylvia Clark-Hansen, who was killed in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash in October, also shares her story.

Webinar Panelists (in order of presentation)

  • Cara Hamann, MPH, PhD, Policy Fellow, University of Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy; Core Faculty, University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center
  • Garrett Pedersen, CPM, Planning Team Leader, Office of Systems Planning, Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Colleen Hansen, Mother of Sylvia Clark-Hansen
  • Mark Wyatt, Director, Iowa Bicycle Coalition

Webinar Resources

Note: There are a few slides toward the beginning of the webinar recording that have digital anomalies, but they work themselves out, so please continue to watch.

Sponsored by the UI Institute of Public Health Research and Policy, Iowa Bicycle Coalition, and the UI Injury Prevention Research Center