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University of Iowa News Release

April 1, 2004

Disability Law And Policy Center To Evaluate Polk County Services

Polk County Health Services has selected the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center at the University of Iowa to serve as the independent evaluator for two programs that provide services to nearly 1,500 Iowans with disabilities.

The programs to be evaluated are case management services, which serve more than 1,000 Iowans annually, and a managed care project that provides services to nearly 450 persons each year. Six agencies in Polk County provide case management services and four organizations offer managed care services. The organizations are evaluated during a six-month period on how well they assist individuals with disabilities to achieve success in areas such as housing, employment, education and recreation. The findings from the evaluation are used by Polk County Health Services to enhance the quality of services.

Polk County Health Services is the central point of coordination for services within Polk County.

"We are very pleased to have the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center be the independent evaluator for these services," said Lynn Ferrell, executive director of Polk County Health Services. "The perspective that the center provides through its evaluation expertise is invaluable to us and ultimately improves the lives of Iowans with disabilities in Polk County."

"The opportunity to continue our partnership with Polk County Health Services is central to the outreach mission of the Center," says Peter Blanck, Kierscht Professor of Law and director of the LHPDC. "Our focus is to improve the quality of life for Iowans and other citizens with disabilities. This project gives us the opportunity to further that goal."

The center, with offices in Iowa City, Adel, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, concentrates on public policy and its impact on persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on self-determination, self-sufficiency and economic independence. For more information on the activities of the center, see http://disability.law.uiowa.edu/.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.