Iowa: CDC State Funded Programs

Level 1: Mentoring State with Funding from 2002-2007

Lead Agency

Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Disability and Violence Prevention
Office of Disability
Division of Behavioral Health and Professional Licensure
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Janet Zwick, Project Director
Phone: (515) 281-4417
Tom Brown, Program Manager
Phone: (515) 281-6646 Fax: (515) 281-4535

Collaborating Agencies

  1. University of Iowa, Center for Disabilities and Development, Iowa’s University Center for Excellence on Disabilities (CDD), College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  2. Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council
  3. Iowa Centers for Independent Living
  4. Selected community-based rehabilitation and aging service agencies
  5. Arthritis Foundation Iowa Chapter
  6. Center for Disaster Operations and Response

Project Goal

The project goal of the grant is to improve the health of Iowans with disabilities.

Major Program Activities

  1. A Prevention of Secondary Conditions Blue Ribbon Panel convened by the Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council, studies state data, identifies priority issues to reduce secondary conditions, and recommends the development of specific interventions for the testing in Iowa.
  2. The University of Montana Living Well with a Disability and companion University of Iowa Continuing to Live Well with a Disability programs are routinely offered in seven community program sites located throughout the state of Iowa.
  3. The University of Iowa Staying Healthy and Living Well adolescent health promotion program is being piloted in community schools and youth programs around the state.
  4. A Living Well with a Disability Advisory Committee provides recommendations for attaining adoption and implementation of the Living Well with a Disability, Continuing to Live Well with a Disability, and Staying Healthy and Living Well programs.
  5. The following Iowa-developed products are used and can be made available to other states: a) the Living Well with a Disability Workbook, a supplement to the Living Well manual that presents curriculum concepts at a third grade reading level; b) the Living Well with a Disability Senior Supplement that helps facilitators adapt the Living Well program for senior citizens; c) the Continuing to Live Well with a Disability Manual and Handouts, a four-session companion course for Living Well; d) Staying Healthy and Living Well, a ten-session health promotion curriculum for adolescents with disabilities; e) Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals—communication guidelines for health-care professionals who serve people with disabilities; f) A Consumer Report Card, a document comparing health-care insurance plans for Iowans with disabilities; g) Building Accessibility Surveys; and h) The Disability and Health Outlook newsletter.
  6. Iowa assists Level 2 and 3 states by sharing experience as well as products. These will include the development of a strategic plan, guidelines for health care professionals, and disaster preparedness.
  7. Disability disaster preparedness workshops are conducted around the state for Iowa’s disability stakeholders.
  8. Will create a program that provides training and technical assistance for the development of Disaster Preparedness plans for people with disabilities.
  9. Will implement Iowa’s revised strategic plan (Healthy Iowans 2010 and its disability-related goals and action steps to include the disability chapter, Chapter 4—Disabilities).
  10. Will develop a follow-up process for Building Access Surveys and provide technical assistance on improving access and identifying potential funding sources.
  11. Will implement a pre-service disability awareness and communication module for use with first year medical students.

Evaluation and Research

  1. Iowa’s three-year Prevention of Secondary Conditions Study surveyed individuals with mobility limitations regarding secondary conditions and risk factors for all age groups. The three disabling conditions included: a) disabilities and chronic conditions arising in childhood, b) traumatic brain and spinal chord injuries, and c) aging associated disabilities.
  2. An evaluation of the Living Well With a Disability, Continuing to Live Well with a Disability, and Staying Healthy and Living Well (adolescent version) programs looks at outcomes related to reduced secondary conditions, increased empowerment, and increased healthy behaviors.
  3. Four research studies have a common goal to expand the methodological foundations for disability surveillance using administrative databases: a) studies of the relationships of medical conditions with employment, b) effectiveness studies of assistive technologies for mobility, c) studies on the magnitude of medication safety problems in the Prevention of Secondary Conditions (PSC) study cohort of Medicare beneficiaries with mobility limitations, and d) studies on the contribution of physical disability and health care access to explain the variation in use of preventive interventions including cancer and bone mineral density screening.
  4. The ongoing study “Bridge to Employment” provides a database for the identification and reduction of organizational barriers to competitive employment.
  5. The “Prevention of Secondary Conditions” study examines disabilities associated with aging. The questionnaires measure mobility impairment, secondary conditions, participation restrictions, mental health and general well-being, general health perceptions, overall quality of life, personal and contextual factors, and covariate chronic conditions.


The BRFSS collects data on 3,600 individuals aged 18 or older.

Materials and Publications

Healthy Iowans 2010. Nationally recognized state plan for disability and health.
The training manuals and workbooks and evaluation tools for the Living Well With a Disability,Continuing to Live Well with a Disability, and Staying Healthy and Living Well (adolescent version) programs
Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals, communication guidelines for health-care professionals who serve people with disabilities
A Consumer Report Card, a document comparing health-care insurance plans for Iowans with disabilities
Building Accessibility Surveys
The Disability and Health Outlook newsletter

Technical Assistance

  • The Iowa State Program is available to provide technical assistance on all of the activities listed above, as well as on past projects conducted, such as:
  • Conducting workshops on adaptive exercise for persons with disabilities
  • Developing consumer-friendly information related to health care insurance plans
  • Developing and distributing a facilitated communications book to be used by health care and law enforcement professionals investigating an alleged sexual assault of a person with a disability