Eight Fellows Join Mid-Iowa Health Foundation’s HealthConnect Fellowship

April 7, 2022

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation welcomes eight advocates to its HealthConnect Fellowship, expanding the current network of more than 20 fellows who are leading system-change efforts to improve children’s health and well-being in central Iowa.

“Mid-Iowa Health Foundation is proud to foster a unique opportunity to support change makers in our community,” said Dr. Nalo Johnson, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Our staff and Board are focused on providing resources for time, space, networking, and capacity building to enhance advocacy work around the social determinants of health for children and families.”

Over the next 18 months, the fellowship will support the third cohort of professionals as they work toward system-change goals on identified issues, including youth mental health, family healing from trauma, health care access, and food insecurity.  Each participant will receive an award from the Foundation, training from local and national experts, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

The following individuals will join the third cohort:

  • Greg Bellville, Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa
  • Emily Ehlers, Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Iowa
  • Luke Elzinga, Communications & Advocacy Manager, DMARC
  • Keshia Fields, Diversity, Inclusion, and Organizational Development Specialist, Polk County
  • Ivania Gabriela (Gabby) Guerra Ceron, Director of Youth Engagement, Please Pass the Love  
  • Alejandro Murgia-Ortiz, Community Organizer, Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice
  • Tinika Roland, Health Equity Consultant, Iowa Public Health Association (sponsoring organization)
  • Alyson Simmons, Executive Director, Central Iowa Trauma Recovery Center
“The Fellowship has provided an important opportunity for local advocates to lead on their issues and influence changes that are having a broad impact on children’s health,” said Chris Cook, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation Board Chair. “The Foundation is honored to support another cohort of individuals who can leverage their expertise and relationships within the network to collectively address many social factors that determine our community’s overall well-being.”

To learn more about the HealthConnect Fellowship, visit our web page.

About Mid-Iowa Health Foundation

For nearly 40 years, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation has served as a catalyst and partner for improving the health of children and families in Greater Des Moines. Grants invest in efforts—and the people who drive them—to connect, create, and transform systems to ensure all children have the building blocks for healthy development and to address complex root causes for poor health. The Foundation also fosters opportunities for learning, knowledge sharing, and partnerships to grow a network of leaders working together to support a thriving central Iowa community.

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