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University of Iowa News Release

April 10, 2006

Public Invited To Forum On Care For Children And Families

Anyone interested in discussing ways for the state of Iowa to improve health care and educational services for children and families should attend a free, public forum, "Tools To Empower Parents: Early identification of needs and linkage to appropriate care," on Monday April 17, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sponsored by the University of Iowa, the event will take place at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, 4401 6th St SW, Cedar Rapids in the Winter/Spring Room. Childcare will be provided in the Autumn Room. Refreshments will be served.

Currently gaps exist in identification and intervention leaving many children underserved or served ineffectively. As a state, Iowa is in the early stages of considering new models of service delivery. The forum will discuss some models that have worked in other states.

"The forum will introduce families to exciting new developments in public health," said Stewart Ehly, program organizer and professor in the University of Iowa College of Education. "These developments will ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow into a healthy and successful adult."

In addition to Ehly, featured speakers include: Rachel Anderson, associate professor of health management and policy in the UI College of Public Health; John Lyons, professor of psychiatry, medicine & preventive medicine at Northwestern University; and Steve Johnson, clinical director for Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa.

The discussion will touch on many health, mental health, and educational services including:

--All forms of mental health prevention and intervention (such as school and community activities to address depression, suicide and other mental health issues);

--Health prevention and intervention, including school and community-based services that target sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse and other public health challenges;

--Behavioral interventions including school dropout and attendance, delinquency, antisocial behavior and classroom misconduct;

--Health promotion and positive behavior training;

--Training that builds interpersonal skills, self-efficacy, peer relationship, commitment to school.

This forum is part of the UI Citizens-Researcher Collaboration project, directed by Meredith Hey, UI vice president for research. The forum is funded in part by the UI Year of Public Engagement.

UI President David J. Skorton has declared the 2005-2006 academic year the Year of Public Engagement, during which the university community is intensifying its efforts and sharpening its focus on engagement with the public and public issues at the local, state, national, and international levels. More information is online,

For additional information on the forum, contact Geri Pettitt, Parent Educator Partnership, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, 800-332-8488 or Stewart Ehly, UI College of Education, 319-335-5335

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Geri Pettitt, Parent Educator Partnership, Grant Wood Area Education Agency, 800-332-8488; Stewart Ehly, UI College of Education, 319-335-5335