Celebrate Phil Was Here with mini-muffins on April 26

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins on a Blue Wooden Table

In honor of Phil Was Here, the UI Center for Advancement’s day of acknowledgement and appreciation of Phil/philanthropy on campus, mini-muffins will be delivered to CPHB, UCC, and IREH as a “thank you” for faculty and staff on April 26.

The Center for Advancement and CPH Phil committee will deliver and set out muffins in:

  • Department/unit kitchens in CPHB by 9:30 a.m.
  • Registry and Biotstats in UCC by 9:30 a.m.
  • 125 IREH by 10 a.m.

This is just a way to acknowledge the many contributions of our faculty and staff – of which philanthropy is one.

Phil Was Here logo

CPH Relay for Life team is top fundraiser

Congratulations to the College of Public Health Relay for Life team for raising $2,940 for cancer research and patient care programs. They were the #1 fundraisers out of 17 teams at the Relay for Life of Johnson County event held April 7. Special shout out to Chuck Hession for being the #1 individual fundraiser out of all participants and to Erin Mobley for serving as team leader! Check out all of the results.

group photo of the 2018 CPH Relay for Life team

Food drive, blood drive results are in

Thanks to everyone who took part in the donation events  sponsored by the CPH Student Association in November and December!

Here are the results:

Crisis Center Food Bank Drive

  • Staff: 156 lbs
  • Students: 155 lbs
  • Faculty: 108 lbs
  • TOTAL = 419 lbs

CPH Blood Drive

28 donors were registered and 24 units of blood were collected, beating the goal of getting 25 donors. This was the most successful CPH blood drive yet!

Food drive for the Crisis Center runs through Dec. 15

College of Public Health faculty, staff, and students are invited to donate to the Crisis Center Food Bank Fundraiser December 1-15. Donations may be placed in bins on the first floor of the College of Public Health Building during these weeks.

This year, the College of Public Health Student Ambassadors are leading the drive and are encouraging a friendly competition between students, faculty, and staff. Please make sure when donating you place items in your respective bin. Members of the ROTC organization will be collecting and weighing donations to keep track of the competition. The winning group will receive special recognition and bragging rights for the year.

Also, please see additional details about the 3rd Annual Last Dash Food Bank Fundraiser at the Mill.

Thank you and good luck!

Top Ten Needed Donations
Financial Donations
Toilet Paper
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Canned Fruit & 100% Fruit Juice
Pastas & Rice
Canned Vegetables
Hearty Soups & Stews
Baby Diapers (all sizes)
Baby Formula & Food
Laundry Detergent

CPH Graduate Student Ambassadors
Kurayi Mahachi
Wensday Worth
Lexie Finer
Virgil Blu Jackson
Samuel Pang
Lexi Pratt
Seamus Taylor
Monisa Saravanan
Kyra Sorenson
Loralyn Werkmeister

We Are Phil Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign kicks off on Monday

The UI We Are Phil Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign week kicks off on Monday, Oct. 16.  In recognition of the positive impact philanthropy has on our college and our campus, the CPH We Are Phil Committee has planned a Fun-PHIL-ed Day at CPH for Tuesday, Oct. 17.  Activities will include:

  • Windy Phil welcoming all to CPHB
  • Box Lunch food truck (a 50s-style diner on wheels) outside CPHB from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The menu features burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and milkshakes.
  • Delicious We Are Phil cookies available for all
  • The CPH We Are Phil committee at table to answer questions

Faculty and staff are invited to gather in the CPHB atrium anytime from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to have lunch and socialize.

Cookies will be delivered to these central locations.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by the location nearest them for a We Are Phil treat:

  • CPHB – 11:30 in the atrium
  • UCC – 11:30 in Biostats and Cancer Registry
  • IREH – 12 noon in Room 123

To donate any amount to the We Are Phil campaign, faculty and staff can enter a contribution envelope in one of three standing, locked deposit boxes.  From Oct. 16 through 20, they will be located at: CPHB (in the waiting area of the Dean’s suite), UCC (rotating between Cancer Registry and Biostats), and IREH.  Donations can also be given online.

Thanks to the engagement of so many CPH faculty and staff who support philanthropy at UI, the college is able to offer opportunities and advance education of our students, faculty, and staff.

Crowdfunding for Health Care

Congolese women gather for a meeting at IC Compassion.
Congolese women gather for a meeting at IC Compassion.


For nearly two decades, conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge in other countries. Within the last year alone, an estimated 239 Congolese refugees have settled in Johnson County, Iowa. A project to improve health care access for this population is now underway thanks to generous public support provided through a new crowdfunding venture.

“This project is focused on understanding the health care needs of the Congolese refugee community in Johnson County,” says Will Story, the project’s leader and CPH assistant professor of community and behavior health. “That’s both working with families to understand the intentions of physicians and health care providers, but also helping physicians understand some of the barriers—cultural, language, transportation—that people are facing when they’re coming into a brand new place.”

Culturally Competent Care

The “Health for All” project was one of three projects selected by the University of Iowa to pilot its new GOLDrush online crowdfunding platform. Unveiled last fall, the month-long campaign had a goal to raise $10,000 for each project. Story’s project raised a total of $10,711 donated by colleagues, local physicians, and concerned citizens.

The team is currently focusing on improving access to existing health services for women and children. Story is collaborating closely with Denise Martinez, a family physician at the UI Carver College of Medicine, to ensure health care providers are delivering culturally competent care and that patients understand the health care system and trust the providers within that system.

“I saw that they were having a difficult time navigating our health care system, and sometimes were having difficulty with pregnancy,” Martinez says about the Congolese patients in her practice.

Other partners include Zadok Nampala, a refugee health advisor and community liaison, as well as IC Compassion, a local community-based organization, who are helping to engage the Congolese community on their health needs and obstacles to care.

Opening New Doors

In addition to reaching the fundraising goal, the campaign also helped to establish new connec­tions, Story adds.

“People now know that I’m working with refugees in the Iowa City area, which has opened doors to new partnerships with people who have years of experience working with refugees, as well as additional funding opportunities,” Story says.

A few weeks after the campaign launched, Story attended a refugee assistance meeting at a local church and was shocked to discover many of the people there knew about his project.

“I hadn’t met the majority of them. There were about 100 people there: refugees, community leaders, politicians, public health officials from the state and county level. Those kinds of connections are invaluable to get a community-based project like this going,” Story says.

This story originally appeared in the spring 2017 issue of InSight.

Celebrate Phil Appreciation week April 24-27

Phil Appreciation Activities – 2017

Phil stands for philanthropy. At Iowa, Phil is everyone who gives to the UI and everyone who benefits from those gifts. That means you are Phil, too! Learn more at PhilWasHere.org.

Monday, April 24  –  9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

CPHB Atrium
UCC – Registry and Biostats

Please stop by a location close to you to celebrate Phil Appreciation  in the College of Public Health!  Enjoy treats!


Wednesday, April 26 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Faces of Phil
T. Anne Cleary Walkway

The event, hosted by the UI Foundation, will include a postcard-signing table, a Polaroid station and a large chalkboard for Faces of Phil photos, and a station to tape a video message for donors. There will also be food trucks!


Thursday, April 27 – 3:30 p.m.

“Life with Phil” Talk featuring Sheri Salata
C20 Pomerantz Career Center

The UI Foundation invites you to learn more about Phil from media powerhouse Sheri Salata (1980 BBA), the former executive producer of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the former president of Harpo Studios and the Oprah Winfrey Network.  Salata’s latest professional venture is the launching of STORY, a media company that produces print, television, film, and digital content.

Alumni and friends help UI and CPH surpass fundraising goals

A portrait of Dr. Sue Curry, dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Sue Curry

This week, the University of Iowa and the University of Iowa Foundation announced the successful conclusion of For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa. More than 272,000 UI alumni and friends—enough to fill Kinnick Stadium four times—contributed more than $1.975 billion to help the UI remain at the forefront of education, research, health care and athletics.

More than 1,913 donors contributed a total of $40 million to the UI College of Public Health, surpassing its $25.8 million goal. Donors supported students; faculty; the leadership fund; rural health, comparative effectiveness research, and community engagement; the community outreach fund; facilities; and unrestricted support for the college’s greatest needs.

“We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary and broad-based support provided by so many generous friends of the College of Public Health,” says Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health. “This campaign was successful because of the tremendous commitment of our long-time supporters and the enthusiasm of so many new donors, including our alumni, current and former faculty and staff, students, community members, and corporate and foundation partners. Their gifts are making a difference today and will continue to pay dividends in terms of better public health for years to come. ”

Steve Ummel
Steve Ummel

Curry specifically acknowledged the support of Steve Ummel, the College of Public Health’s representative to the For Iowa. Forever More campaign. Ummel earned an MA in Hospital and Health Administration in 1965, which launched him into a distinguished career as a top executive in several multi-hospital health systems in the United States. He has been a long-time supporter of the College of Public Health, serving on its Board of Advisors and in numerous philanthropic capacities since the formation of the college in 1999.

“Steve Ummel has been an exceptional friend and advisor to the College of Public Health,” says Curry. “Over the years, no one has been more dedicated to our success. I am grateful to Steve for his tremendous generosity, loyalty, and vision.”

The campaign has benefited students and faculty throughout the College of Public Health, including Isabella De Soriano, who is making a difference in the world around her. As a master’s student in the UI College of Public Health, De Soriano is working to reduce obesity in local communities by promoting healthy eating.

Isabella De Soriano with Dr. Nancy Sprince
Isabella De Soriano with Dr. Nancy Sprince

“We’re looking at how store layouts, pricing, promotional materials, and infrastructure influence customer decisions to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables,” says De Soriano, who completed her undergraduate degree at Iowa in medical anthropology and is currently studying community and behavioral health.

In 2016, De Soriano —who is from London, England, and will graduate in May—was the inaugural recipient of the Craig Zwerling and Nancy Sprince Award for Social Justice. This scholarship, which was created by two longtime UI faculty members during the For Iowa. Forever More. campaign, supports a Department of Community and Behavioral Health graduate student who is pursuing an interest in addressing health disparities and alleviating social injustice. De Soriano, who is working to build stronger communities through her research and her work with the UI Women’s Resource and Action Center, hopes to one day establish an organization that addresses public health issues in prisons.

“The generous scholarship from Nancy and Craig not only was welcome recognition for my achievements, but it provided invaluable financial support,” says De Soriano. “Their encouragement has been further inspiration for my continued pursuit for social justice.”

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the UI, and its mission is to promote the UI’s commitment to excellence through engagement and philanthropy.

For more information, please visit the UI Foundation website.