The Business Leadership Program awards four community-focused programs with up to $3,000 in grants. This year, the program will award grants to organizations in Dewitt, Albia, Dubuque, and Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Business Leadership Network at the University of Iowa awards funds to four projects by Iowa organizations focused on promoting health and community-oriented work.
The four recipients were Clinton County Agricultural Extension Services, Crescent Community Health Center, Monroe County Public Health and the University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education. They received up to $3,000 to use for their programs, all of which help advocate for the well-being of various Iowa communities.
The Business Leadership Network Community Grants Program and the UI College of Public Health choose grant recipients with money from the Iowa Farm Bureau.
The business leadership program was founded in 2011 by a former dean of the UI college of public health, Sue Curry, who, according to current dean Edith Parker, noticed the university had a lot of outreach in state since college, but not so much in small businesses and in smaller, more rural areas of the state.
“We really tried to focus on building relationships in the area of the state where we didn’t really have a strong presence,” Parker said.
One of the grantees, Clinton County Agricultural Extension Services in Dewitt, Iowa, strives to provide research-based learning opportunities for citizens.
“Our goal is to use the money to provide powerful tools for caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs,” said state humanities specialist Barbara Dunn-Swanson. ‘Iowa to Clinton County Agricultural Extension Services.
Specifically, Dunn-Swanson said the $3,000 will go directly to the Power Tools for Caregivers program, which is a six-week course that helps support caregivers of children with special health or of behavior.
The funds will provide each participant with a caregiver support manual to help them learn throughout the course, as well as an evening meal, she said. Funds have also been allocated to secure respite care if needed for class attendance, to ensure everyone can attend.
“The funding reduces the financial barrier that many caregivers may face when trying to participate in an educational series such as Powerful Tools,” Dunn-Swanson said.
Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque, Iowa, strives to “provide high quality, respectful, and affordable medical, dental, and brain care to improve the health and well-being of our community,” according to its mission statement. .
The Crescent Community Health Center will use the funds to accomplish its mission statement of providing primary medical and dental care to members of the community who are underrepresented.
Monroe County Public Health in Albia, Iowa, works with Healthy Families America, a national home visiting program that provides free child development assistants.
The public health department offers a variety of programs, including in-home developmental screenings, depression screenings and potty training, said Monroe County Public Health Director Chris Damage.
Dommer said the grant will be used to train staff members.
“I wrote the grant for staff because keeping up to date with training helps us provide best practices, information for families and stuff like that,” Dommer said.
UNI’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education in Cedar Falls, Iowa offers programs such as:
- Green Iowa Americorps, which provides energy and environmental services to communities throughout Iowa
- Community Energy and Climate Action, which aims to eliminate the use of fossil fuels instead of using renewable energy sources
- UNI Local Food Program, a food program that strengthens Iowa’s local food economy through food donations
- Improving Community Environmental Health, which works to protect the environmental health of children in Iowa
This includes offering technical assistance, educational programs, and leadership in the areas of energy conservation and renewable energy, environmental conservation, and community agriculture.
“The most important part of these grants is that they are a community-identified problem with a community commitment to address it,” Parker said. “The grants are only $3,000, but they really go a long way.”