Category : Education
In 2012, our community put a stake in the ground, united around ensuring children in our community can read by the end of third grade. The rallying cry centered on eliminating barriers to learning for young students and bringing to light the real struggle that some kids face when it comes to literacy. From our work, here are lessons of what it takes to build the village of support for each child, while still staying true to the mission of “why."
Becky Miles-Polka shares her journey as part of the first cohort of fellows. Her project focused on accessing Medicaid reimbursement for home assessment and remediation to improve health outcomes for children with chronic asthma.
Al Éxito has conducted focus groups about youth mental health with 60 middle and high school students across Iowa along with a mental health survey with 120 respondents. In the focus groups, students discussed barriers to receiving help or medical treatment when dealing with traumatic events or mental illness. One consistent issue for youth was lack of access to care due to their financial means and/or lack of health insurance and stigma from peers and parents.
For all children in Central Iowa to have equal opportunity for good health, greater attention and resources must be directed to addressing the fundamental causes of poor health for children and youth. These fundamental causes, or social determinants, of health are often largely impacted by public and private, organization, local, state and federal policies and practices.
The Mid-Iowa Health Foundation HealthConnect Fellowship strives to engage and build the capacity of key professionals working to improve social determinants of children's health, and help them grow as public policy change agents to improve children's health in central Iowa.
This HealthConnect Fellowship Blog is intended to share learnings from the Fellows and other national experts with our broader community of children's health advocates.