Healthy Polk 2020

Priority #5

Expand health coverage and services for families who can't afford private insurance but don't qualify for public programs.

On Tuesday, March 13th Polk County Health Department convened a number of the stakeholders interviewed by the Child and Policy Center for their study focusing on the Healthy Polk 2020 priorities related to access to care.

In attendance were: Dr. Bery Engebretsen (Primary Health Care, Inc.), Mikki Stier (Broadlawns Medical Center), Cari Spear and Amy Karaidos (Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa), Dr. Steve Eckstat (Free Clinics of Iowa), Nicci Dean (Polk County Medical Society), Sid Ramsey and Neil Fagan (Iowa Health-Des Moines), Dr. Charlie Bruner and Michelle Stover Wright (Child and Family Center) and Chris Frantsvog, Carmin Hutch, Rick Kozin, Lori Parsons and Terri Henkels (Polk County Health Department).

Dr. Bruner presented the highlights from their study (link to slides). He focused on: 1.The data on the uninsured; 2. Implications of the Affordable Care Act; Common themes form the interview and Possible next steps.

Out of the discussion that followed 4 possible questions to be answered were identified:

1. What would a community-wide care coordination strategy look like?

2. Can the relationship between Healthy Polk and other health initiatives (Capital Crossroads, Tomorrow Plan, Regional Community Needs Assessments, etc) be clearly described in a diagram/picture?

3. What can be done to increase the level of awareness that safety-net providers have about what other safety-net providers offer (to facilitate referrals)?

4. Are there opportunities to engage more community partners in the development of the Health Improvement Plans being developed by each of the hospitals to address the needs identified in their needs assessments?


Polk County Health Department (in consultation with interested people who attended the meeting) will develop proposed strategies as to how each of these questions might be answered.

Polk County Health Department will continue as the group’s convener and facilitator. The Child and Family Policy Center will be available to provide assistance to the initiative.  The group may reconvene in June, 2012.



Contact Us

Chris Frantsvog, Public Health Planner
1907 Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314

(515) 286-3430