Mid Iowa
3900 ingersoll avenue suite 104 des moines, iowa 50312
phone 515.277.6411 info@midiowahealth.org
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Health Foundation

For additional social determinants,
health, or health funding information, please try the following websites:

Social Determinants of Health Resources

Centers for Disease Control


Background on SDOH, data, tools and policy resources.

Stanford Social Innovation Review


Health equity strategies are reviewed.

The Commonwealth Fund


A business case for addressing social needs in a healthcare setting.

RAND Social Determinants of
Health Interest Group


Understanding the Upstream Social Determinants of Health.

Adverse Childhood Experiences
(ACEs) Study resources

Click Here for the continually growing Iowa ACEs 360 website containing updates on what is happening around the state of Iowa and the nation related to ACEs. From this site, consider joining ACEs Connection, and the Iowa Group within ACEs Connection to receive regular updates about work to prevent ACEs and build resilient children, families and communities.

Healthy Polk County, IA


Includes health priority and planning information for Polk County, Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public Health


For all state health resource information.

Healthy People


Contains national initiatives and health priorities.

Center for Disease Control


National health resource information.

Institute of Medicine


Health research and reports to help leaders make informed decisions.

Foundation Center


Contains a comprehensive listing of foundations, priorities, application information, and additional resources.

Grantmakers in Health


Has information about health issues and successful grantmaking strategies.

Fiscal Policy Studies Institute


Resources for using Results Based Accountability framework to measure improvements in communities.

Invest Relationships, Invest Communities,
Invest Health
Using time-tested relational organizing practices, AMOS will build and strengthen relationships among neighborhood institutions and residents working together to identify solutions and act to improve the health of children and families in Des Moines.

New Foster Care Clinic at Blank Children's
Regional Child Protection Center
Connecting the child welfare system and specialized and trauma-informed health system, the goals for this project are to improve the health and well-being outcomes for children in foster care, to promote stability of children in foster care, and to support and educate caregivers.

ACEs Prenatal Project Development
and Collaboration

The ACEs Prenatal Collaboration seeks to support the planning and development of coordinated prenatal strategies in central Iowa. The project will engage key research and implementation partners to establish content, design and evaluation for the primary strategies of childbirth education and community support coordination.

ACEs 360 Educator Curriculum Development
During the 2018 session, the Iowa State Legislature passed SF2113, legislation that requires licensed school personnel who have regular contact with students to undergo annual training that includes identifying adverse childhood experiences and mitigating toxic stress. This was an outstanding advancement in legislative support and understanding of the impact that childhood trauma can have on the ability of children and youth to learn and function in the classroom setting. To support the implementation of this training, it is critical that ACEs and trauma related coalitions provide content expertise to ensure the requirement does not become an unfunded mandate for schools. The goal of this project is to update and expand foundational curriculum for Iowa educators in alignment with SF2113. The target population will include educators, administrators, and all school personnel.

Technical Assistance for Trauma Informed Services for Youth in Polk County Detention
The Juvenile Justice system provides an opportunity to identify youth who have experienced trauma and reduce exposure and future impact of trauma. The goal for trauma services is to improve self-regulation, allowing the youth to receive more accurate assessment, reduce further involvement in the system, lessen youth anxiety in court, and allow determination of appropriate services after Detention. Because these services are new and there is no documentation of like services in the US, it is imperative to determine appropriate data collection/tracking/documentation and ensure delivery of quality, short-term services that address this vulnerable population. This is one step of many in introducing process changes within JCS, Juvenile Court and Detention that address the trauma of system-involved youth.

The Technical Assistance Project will help navigate the collaboration between the organizations; Central Iowa ACEs will support the collaborative efforts of service partners through facilitation and documentation and dissemination of outcomes to the trauma prevention and response networks. Polk County Decat will continue to lead coordination of the services and technical assistance.

uVoice Youth Philanthropy Board
To engage youth in philanthropy and leadership development efforts, provide opportunities for youth to learn about the inner workings of grant-making and management, complete assessments of community health needs, create strategies to address those needs, and connect with community leaders to influence change.

Des Moines Public Schools Trauma-Sensitive
and Culturally-Responsive School District Initiative

DMPS is embracing a whole-child approach. Goals include: 1. to increase social emotional skill instruction and assessment; and 2. to gain access to resources and support through the National Council's Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community.

Scavo Full Service High School-
Trauma Informed Care

Scavo will support the unique health needs of students through the development of a trauma sensitive educational environment. Increasing staff knowledge and skills, and revising school policies as needed to focus on resiliency and strengths of students, we will create the supportive environment necessary to attain improvements in academics, attendance and behaviors required for academic success.

Innovation in Mental Health Education
The goal is to provide a comprehensive and sustainable mental health educational opportunity to the third-year students of Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. It is designed to transform the ways psychiatric care is delivered based on the NAMI Provider Program, designed to promote greater understanding of the impact of mental illness on individuals and their families, enhance greater understanding of how to improve patient-centered care, and strengthen the capacity for competent caring by staff members during psychiatric emergencies. With a teaching team consisting of a family member, a person living with a mental illness, and a mental health professional, the program is uniquely suited to improve not just competency in working with mental illness but also in reducing stigma surrounding mental illness. Through a collaborative partnership with the Des Moines NAMI affiliate, Des Moines University students will undergo the 15-hour program consisting of didactic and experiential learning. The program will occur on June 2018 with implement described in the Project Timeline section below. Medical students in their third year will be targeted for the program given that it is at this point in their training that they have started to have exposure on rotations to actual patients. Also, placing the program in the third year will help counteract the declines in empathy that have been documented to occur during this phase of training.11–13

Creating a Culture of Support for Pregnant and Parenting Young Women
The goal of EyesOpenIowa's project is to work with seven Des Moines metro schools to reduce the social stigma directed toward pregnant and parenting teens and assist schools in creating a more culturally sensitive and empowering environment to help young parents stay in school, graduate, and move toward self-sufficiency.

Count the Kicks
Healthy Birth Day, Inc. will contribute to the reduction of stillbirth among women of color in central Iowa and lead the effort to eliminate racial disparities in stillbirth through the Count the Kicks public health campaign.

Identifying the Assets, Risks, and Experiences of Vulnerable Central Iowans
Implement a nationally-recognized tool that assesses specific high-risk patient populations, including central Iowa adolescents and pregnant women, assets, risks, and experiences around social determinants of health within an FQHC in central Iowa.

Creating Stability for Children of
High-Conflict Divorce

Understanding the implications of toxic stress and childhood adversity on developing brains, this project brings the voice and needs of children into the judicial system through advocacy for children of high-conflict divorce. The project will decrease children’s exposure to toxic parental conflict, strengthen family relationships, and connect families to needed resources.

School Mental Health System Intervention Outreach
We seek to improve the quality of life and mental wellness for every youth through education, training, and school mental health system building. Our ultimate goal is that every student and staff feels safe, happy, and excited to be at school.

Ending Youth Homelessness Plan Staffing
A group of concerned community members and youth that have experienced homelessness came together in 2017 and following a year of collaboration and work, the Polk County Continuum of Care and the Youth Advisory Board released a plan to end youth homelessness. The plan included research and background on youth homelessness, community partners, key findings, and strategies. These strategies focus on strong, safe and stable families/social supports, early intervention, pathways out of homelessness, community-level solutions to systematic challenges, and next steps. The full plan can be found at http://www.polkcares.org/committee/youth-homeless-planning/. Effective implementation of the community plan will require ongoing leadership and commitment from stake holders. Continued involvement of an active youth advisory board will also be instrumental to successful implementation. The top five most important strategies have been identified to implement over the next 12 months, which will serve as a starting point. Progress will be measured by tracking the following indicators collected by the Polk County Continuum of Care: newly homeless, returns to homelessness, length of time homeless, discharges from placement without achieving permanency (emancipation), supportive relationships, count of unsheltered, and exits from homelessness to sage and stable housing.

United Way ALICE Report for Iowa
The ALICE Report is a look at the Iowa households who are Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed. They are households above the Federal Poverty Level, but unable to meet a basic needs budget in the county in which they live. The United Ways of Iowa, with partnership from Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, brought the initial report to Iowa in 2016. That study found that 12% of Iowa households were below FPL and an ADDITIONAL 19% are above FPL, but struggling to meet a survival budget every week and month. The survival budget consists of just five categories: food, housing, transportation, health and childcare - no savings, debt repayments, or "extras". The report is designed to give a common language to discussing the issues around the one-third of Iowa households who do not have financial stability. The report has no policy recommendations. It is designed to be a point-in-time look at the issues to help stakeholders begin conversations and develop collaborative solutions to the myriad issues faced by these Iowans. The report will be repeated in 2018 to analyze changes and trends since initial publication in 2016.

Vision to Learn
Through a mobile vision clinic, Vision to Learn provides two free pairs of eyeglasses (one pair to take home and one to keep at school) to students who attend schools with at least 50% free and reduced-price lunch. A trained eye care professional provides a modified screening exam with a full refraction for students who would otherwise not receive vision care. This year, United Way of Central Iowa will partner with schools to screen 9,078 students in grades K-5 and will distribute 2,178 pairs of eyeglasses to 1,089 students.

Youth Resiliency Matters
YWRC will have a profound impact on the lives of girls and young women through incorporation of resiliency skills and protective resource building in program curriculum, development of data systems to track long-term impact, and recording of lessons learned to share with the community.