U of I College of Public Health seeks input from southern Iowa business, community leaders


Southern Iowa business, community, health, and education leaders are invited to discuss their ideas for making their communities healthier and safer at a free lunch and forum on May 13 at Honey Creek Resort. Attendees should register at http://bit.ly/BLNhoneycreek. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.

A keynote presentation during lunch will focus on cyber-bullying as a public health issue affecting Iowa youth. The event also includes roundtable discussions on cyber-bullying in schools and the workplace, workplace health and safety, aging populations and the workforce, and community and behavioral health. It starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Honey Creek Resort Lodge.

The forum is part of the Business Leadership Network initiative of the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Led by Dean Sue Curry, the college is building a network of southern Iowa business leaders interested in collaborating with the college to make their communities healthier. The Business Leadership Network southern region encompasses 16 counties: Appanoose, Clarke, Davis, Decatur, Jefferson, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne.

“The College of Public Health wants to connect with people who live and work across Iowa, and we really value their perspectives,” said Mitch Overton, Business Leadership Network coordinator. “We’re excited for this opportunity to listen to their ideas for improving their communities and find ways to work together.”

Current Business Leadership Network members in the southern region are: Claudia Rivera Gates of US Bank in Ottumwa; Jill Baze of Van Gorp in Pella; Greg Fenton of Lee Container in Centerville; Michael Halley, a City Council member in Fairfield; Kevin Klemesrud of American State Bank in Osceola; and Rich Paulsen of the Creston News Advertiser and Southwest Iowa Advertiser in Creston.

Addressing the problem of cyber-bullying is the focus of a current partnership between the College of Public Health, the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, and Working Group Theatre. From local interviews with victims of bullying and their families, Working Group Theatre developed a theatrical play, “Out of Bounds,” to share stories as a step toward community solutions to bullying. College of Public Health faculty members are researching whether emotional appeals through theater and expression are more effective ways to engage youth in stopping bullying than other approaches. Forum attendees will learn more about this project during the lunch keynote.


WHAT: Business Leadership Network Luncheon and Community Forum – free. Keynote: Cyber-Bullying is a Public Health Issue. Roundtable discussion topics: Cyber-Bullying in Schools and the Workplace; Workplace Health and Safety, Aging Populations and the Workforce; Community and Behavioral Health. Register at http://bit.ly/BLNhoneycreek


WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, 2014; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Honey Creek Resort Lodge, 12633 Resort Drive, Moravia, IA 52571

WHO: Hosted by the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Open to the public and media; especially geared toward businesses, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, community organizations, local public health leaders, and educators.