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Drake seeks individuals and host sites for Iowa Community Health AmeriCorps Program

December 23, 2015

AmeriCorps KidsDrake University in partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative is seeking host sites and AmeriCorps members for the new Iowa Community Health AmeriCorps Program (ICHAP), a grant-funded health program in the state of Iowa.

The program sends individuals into communities across Iowa to develop practices that improve the health of residents in those communities. AmeriCorps members serve as liaisons between Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative and local schools, businesses, and community organizations to foster the establishment of smarter lunchrooms, safer walking routes to schools, community gardens, opportunities for physical activity, and tobacco free workplaces.

“ICHAP represents an innovative approach to higher education and private/public partnerships. We are eager to achieve collective impact across the state of Iowa; moving us closer to the goal of being the healthiest in the nation," said Renee Sedlacek, interim director of Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Drake University.

Non-profits, municipalities, schools, and government agencies interested in serving as host sites may apply at http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/americorps-community-health until February 15, 2016.

AmeriCorps members will commit to a 7-month, 900-hour service experience, in exchange for a living stipend, education award, and great professional development and work experience. Individuals interested in learning more or applying can visit: http://1.usa.gov/1U2tF5H.

Four AmeriCorps members joined the program in October. They are working with the following organizations:

  • Eat Greater Des Moines
  • Linn County Public Health, Cedar Rapids
  • Manning Regional Healthcare Center, Manning
  • Dallas County Public Health Nursing Services, Adel (starting January 4)

The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service issued AmeriCorps funding to Drake University from the Corporation for National and Community Service to launch the new AmeriCorps Program.

"In order for Iowa to become the healthiest state in the nation, we need to enhance local capacity. ICHAP provides the resources we need to build capacity for healthier communities, schools and workplaces.” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative.

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Drake University is a midsize, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, enrolling more than 3,300 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students from 40 states and approximately 40 countries. Students choose from over 70 majors, minors, and concentrations and 20 graduate degrees offered through six colleges and schools. Drake students, faculty, and staff take advantage of the wealth of cultural, recreational, and business opportunities found in Iowa's capital city. In return, Drake enriches the city through its own cultural offerings, considerable economic impact, and many service-learning endeavors, which channel the talent and energy of the Drake students toward meeting the needs of the community.

The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public effort that engages Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based, community-focused effort. For more information, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com.