The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received a $50,000 grant from Telligen Community Initiative (TCI) to fund an innovative program that offers public health tools, resources and programs through targeted public libraries.
The “Harnessing the Power of Iowa’s Libraries” project is being piloted in Perry and Cedar Rapids. Because public libraries and local public health agencies are at the heart of Iowa’s communities, they are well positioned to be partners in addressing health equity – helping all people to have the opportunity to attain their highest possible level of health. For the pilot, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is working with Linn County Public Health, and the Perry Public Library with Dallas County Public Health.
Each library will tailor its public health offerings based on the local public health agency’s Community Health Needs Assessment & Health Improvement Planning (CHNA & HIP). Many libraries already understand the importance of healthy lifestyles. For instance, the Cedar Rapids Public Library has installed walking treadmill desks. The TCI funding will allow libraries to build off existing health promotion efforts, in addition to expanding their offerings in partnership with their local public health agency.
Through the one-year project, a toolkit including best practices, success stories and strategies to grow will be created. IDPH is currently seeking additional funding to potentially expand the initiative.
The IDPH project was one of only 18 grants selected for TCI’s 2019 Iowa and Illinois-based funding cycle, which awarded a total of $804,312 in grants to nonprofit organizations in these states. For more information about TCI, please visit www.telligenci.org.