Because public libraries and local public health agencies are at the heart of Iowa’s communities, they are well positioned to be partners in helping all people to have the opportunity to attain their highest possible level of health. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) received a $50,000 grant to fund the Harnessing the Power of Iowa’s Libraries project, which offers public health tools, resources and programs through public libraries.
Each library has tailored its public health offerings based on its local Community Health Needs Assessment & Health Improvement Plan. In partnership with local public health agencies, libraries built on existing health promotion efforts and expanded their offerings. Presenters will share best practices, success stories and strategies for growth.
Abigail Chihak is the Community Health Administrator at the Dallas County Health Department. She earned a Master’s of Public Health and a Master’s of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Cindy Fiester is a RN at Linn County Public Health, Linn County, Iowa, where she works in prevention and management of chronic disease on a community level. She holds a BSN from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and a BA from Iowa State University with a double major in Journalism & Mass Communication and Sociology.
Mary Murphy is the Director of the Perry Public Library. She has a Ph.D. in Business and Economics, and an MS and BS in Agricultural Economics. She has served on the ILA Leadership Committee and is serving currently on the Board of the Iowa Small Library Association as Secretary.
Angie Doyle Scar works at the Iowa Department of Public Health within the Office of Healthcare Transformation. Angie has a degree in Psychology from Upper Iowa University and a graduate degree in Public Health from Des Moines University.
Todd Simonson is the Public Service Manager for the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Todd has an MLIS degree from Valdosta State University and Master’s in Education degree from Northern Arizona University.