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 https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/FINAL-IDPH-Needs-Assessment-Report.pdf

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 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kt366b2cs5n6sos/AADVjIwPporl6f4U46ifHQ0ka?dl=0

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

Hear updates from the CPH Faculty Policy Fellows on Jan. 17

Hear updates from Mary Charlton, Kelli Ryckman, Cara Hamann, Brandi Janssen, and Paul Gilbert as they highlight their projects with the College of Public Health’s Policy Fellow Program, offered through the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP).

This Spotlight Series event will take place Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in C217 CPHB.

Policy Fellow Spotlight is Jan. 17, 2018

CPH welcomes Sen. Tom Harkin, health policy expert Jenelle Krishnamoorthy on Oct. 18

The University of Iowa College of Public Health will host special guests Senator Tom Harkin (retired) and health policy expert and executive Jenelle Krishnamoorthy for two public lectures on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Both lectures are sponsored by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP) based in the college.

portrait of Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Tom Harkin

Senator Harkin, who represented Iowa in the United States Congress for more than four decades, is the IIPHRP’s inaugural Visiting Scholar. This program invites exceptional senior scholars to the college to enrich education, research, and collaborative initiatives and to provide opportunities for students and faculty to interact with the scholars through a variety of functions.

Harkin will present “Delivering a Healthy Future: Making Public Health Policy in the 21st Century” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Callaghan Auditorium (N110 CPHB) on Oct. 18.

“Senator Harkin was selected as a Visiting Scholar for his in-depth knowledge and vast experience in the implementation of public health policy,” says Vickie Miene, interim director of the IIPHRP.

Harkin served Iowa’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985 and was a U.S. Senator from 1985 until his retirement in 2015. His legislative policy priorities have included public health, federal farm policy, civil rights for Americans with disabilities, childhood nutrition and food access, health care access and reform, labor issues, and access to and improvement of education. He crafted the Americans with Disabilities Act and helped to lead passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, authoring the law’s many prevention provisions.

portrait of Dr. Jenelle Krishnamoorthy
Dr. Jenelle Krishnamoorthy

Jenelle Krishnamoorthy is visiting the college through the IIPHRP’s Executive in Residence Program, which integrates senior business leaders into the life of the college and provides unique opportunities for experts to interact closely with students and faculty.

Krishnamoorthy will present “Population Health – Perspectives from the Field and Policy Implications” from 10:15 to 11:00 a.m. in C217 CPHB on Oct. 18.

She is currently the Associate Vice President, U.S. Policy, Communications and Population Health at Merck and is trained as a licensed clinical psychologist. Prior to joining Merck in January 2015, she was the Health Policy Director for the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in the United States Senate for then Chairman Tom Harkin.

“Dr. Krishnamoorthy has a wealth of experience as scientist, policymaker, and executive,” says Miene. “The various roles she has held in her career will offer valuable perspectives on formulating public health policy.”

Krishnamoorthy first joined Harkin’s team as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow in 2003 and 2004. During 2004 and 2005, she worked at the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs on health, science, technology, and environment issues with India on an AAAS Diplomacy Fellowship.

Early in her career, she completed a pediatric clinical psychology internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School, where she conducted research in the areas of childhood obesity and tobacco issues. Krishnamoorthy received a B.S. degree from Randolph-Macon College, M.S. from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The IIPHRP fosters new collaborations, within and outside the University of Iowa, by bringing together researchers, health care organizations, providers, citizens, community leaders, private partners, and policy makers to help shape and inform public health policy. More information about the IIPHRP can be found at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/iiphr.


Gilbert, Janssen selected as IIPHRP Policy Fellows

The Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy (IIPHRP) is pleased to announce the newest members of its Policy Fellow Program. The 2017-2018 Policy Fellows are Paul Gilbert, UI assistant professor of community and behavioral health, and Brandi Janssen, UI clinical assistant professor of occupational and environmental health.

The year-long Policy Fellow Program creates opportunities for primary faculty to enhance their skills for translating public health research into practice and policy. Each Policy Fellow develops and implements an “action learning project” focused on a critical public health topic. The project is intended to be completed within a one-year timeline and requires at least one stakeholder meeting and a product, such as a policy brief, proposed legislative language, or an implementation guide to disseminate at the end of the Fellowship.

“The scope of each project can be very diverse,” says Vickie Miene, interim director of the IIPHRP, based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. “For example, one project may be to develop a position paper on a specific public health issue, while another project may be to implement legislative language that impacts workforce development.”

IIPHRP selects Policy Fellows from a competitive application process. The program provides funds for Fellows to attend specialized conferences or for other approved activities that enhance their learning. In addition, the program supports visits from policy experts, industry leaders, and other faculty who provide education and expertise to the program.

Reducing underage drinking

A portrait of Paul Gilbert, assistant professor of community and behavioral health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Gilbert’s project is looking at ways to reduce underage drinking, specifically through social host liability laws. Social host liability holds that adults who provide alcohol to minors, or allow minors to consume alcohol on their property, should be accountable for those violations of the minimum legal drinking age. In 2014, the Iowa state code was amended to enact a statewide social host liability law, covering all jurisdictions.

As a first step, Gilbert will assess variation in enforcement of Iowa’s recent social host liability law. He will review county-level enforcement records and interview stakeholders to understand when and how the law is enforced, including barriers to enforcement. As a second step, Gilbert will draw on the local knowledge and scientific literature to make recommendations to strengthen Iowa’s adolescent alcohol prevention policy.

An issue brief outlining the problem of adolescent drinking and describing the social host liability law is forthcoming. The final policy recommendations will be shared at a public summit in summer 2018.

Improving safe farm practices

Portrait of Brandi Janssen, clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Janssen’s project will focus on partnering with agricultural lenders to improve farm safety in Iowa. Injuries among farmers and agricultural workers remain higher than nearly every other industry in the United States. In most years in Iowa, agriculture is responsible for more occupational fatalities than any other industry.

These high injury and fatality rates are partially a result of the nature of agricultural work, in which farmers and their employees are regularly exposed to multiple hazards on the job (equipment, livestock, chemicals, and environmental hazards such as extreme heat and cold). In addition, because most farms employ fewer than 10 non-related workers, there are very few enforceable policies that require safety protocols or enact penalties for unsafe working conditions.

Many other industries, including manufacturers, grain co-ops, and financial lenders, rely on a safe and healthy farm workforce. In particular, agricultural lenders, who also aim to reduce risk, may be good partners in farm safety promotion and policy. Recognizing that safe farms benefit both farmers and lenders, whose investments are better protected, this project aims to identify strategies for agricultural lenders to encourage and improve safe farm practices in Iowa.

More information about the Policy Fellow Program can be found at https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/iiphrp/.