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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 26, 2005

Workshop On Iowa's Early Childhood Health Policy Set For Oct. 27

Leaders in early childhood health and development will gather in Iowa City Oct. 27 for a one-day workshop designed to share perspectives on how to integrate child development programs for Iowa's children from birth to age five.

The workshop, "Off to a Good Start: Framing Policy for Early Childhood Health Systems Integration," will bring together legislators, health care providers, educators, business executives, city and county government officials, community leaders, and early childhood experts to help implement the Early Childhood Strategic Plan. The strategic plan was developed by the Early Childhood Iowa Stakeholders, an advocacy group formed in 2000 to serve as the catalyst for the development of Iowa's early care, health and education system.

"Iowans place a tremendous value on helping our children succeed, and we have developed a lot of programs to reach that goal," said Christopher Atchison, conference chair and University of Iowa clinical professor of health management and policy. "Our next step must be to coordinate these programs so that each of them can help the other better serve kids and their families. This workshop will produce an action plan for the next generation of child development services in Iowa."

The keynote address, "Medicaid and the 109th Congress," will be presented by Sara Rosenbaum, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at the George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services. Rosenbaum is also the recipient of the UI College of Public Health's 2005 Richard and Barbara Hansen Leadership Award and Distinguished Lectureship.

Conference participants will focus on identifying challenges to assuring an integrated early childhood health systems policy; planning the health component implementation of Iowa's Early Childhood Strategic Plan; and establishing collaborative efforts between policymakers, business leaders, health care providers and educators for governance, finance and leadership as they relate to the expansion of early childhood health care, learning, services and programs.

The workshop is sponsored by the UI College of Public Health, Institute for Public Health Practice, Iowa Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council, Iowa Head Start Association, Iowa Assuring Better Child Health and Development Initiative, and the Iowa/Nebraska Primary Care Association. The full workshop brochure is available online at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/newsletter/ad_mats/092305_EarlyChild.pdf.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Reporters are invited to attend all sessions of the workshop, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, 210 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City. Keynote speaker Sara Rosenbaum will be available to meet with reporters from 11 to 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson 1 Room of the Sheraton Hotel. Rosenbaum's formal remarks begin at noon in the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, debra-venzke@uiowa.edu