Mid-Iowa Health Foundation Announces Inaugural Cohort of the HealthConnect Fellowship

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Mid-Iowa Health Foundation announces the inaugural Cohort of the HealthConnect Fellowship. Seven Fellows were selected to participate in this unique initiative to advance the upstream system changes necessary to more adequately address social determinants of children’s health.

“We envision this initiative will bring a new level of conversation and action around essential system change necessary for the health and well-being of our children,” — Suzanne Mineck, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation President and CEO.

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural Cohort of the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation’s HealthConnect Fellowship. Seven Fellows were selected to participate in this unique initiative, which brings together leaders in the community to advance the upstream system changes necessary to more adequately address social determinants of children’s health. “These seven Fellows were chosen because of their demonstrated expertise and dedication to the advancement of policies and practices that address children’s health barriers,” said Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation Board Chair.

The Fellowship is designed to set aside space for experienced children’s health advocates to rethink how to address challenging barriers to, and disparities among, children’s health. Each Fellow will have the opportunity to leverage their current body of policy work on an identified children's health issue with the additional support, guidance and resources of the HealthConnect Fellowship. Rick Kozin will serve as the lead mentor.

“We envision this initiative will bring a new level of conversation and action around essential system change necessary for the health and well-being of our children. We are honored to support, learn with and elevate the important work of our community and these esteemed HealthConnect Fellows,” commented Suzanne Mineck, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation President and CEO.

The seven Fellows include:

Mrs. Mary Nelle Trefz, health policy associate, Child and Family Policy Center
Ms. Lisa Cushatt, program manager, Central Iowa ACEs 360
Mr. Josh Hellyer, policy and communications coordinator, Polk County Housing Trust Fund
Mrs. Dawn Martinez Oropeza, executive director, Al Éxito
Ms. Chaney Yeast, director of government relations and medical-legal project, Blank Children’s Hospital
Ms. Becky Miles-Polka, senior consultant, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Mrs. Andrea Dencklau, senior policy associate, Youth Policy Institute of Iowa

To learn more about Mid-Iowa Health Foundation HealthConnect Fellowship, visit our https://www.midiowahealth.org/healthconnect/.

About Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
Since 1984, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation has pursued its mission to serve as a catalyst and partner for improving the health of vulnerable people in greater Des Moines. Mid-Iowa Health Foundation invites Des Moines-area communities to join together to ensure children and youth are surrounded by a safe and supportive community, have access to quality health and education services, and are protected from toxic forms of adversity. To learn more about the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, visit http://www.midiowahealth.org.

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