Sioux County, Iowa — One-point-three-million dollars in federal grants are going to organizations in six Iowa communities, including Sioux County, to experiment with health care reforms. Governor Terry Branstad says the goal is to both reduce costs and improve the health of Iowans.
Iowa is getting 43-million dollars over the next four years to test new payment methods and new ways of delivering health care services. The hospital in West Burlington, along with the public health agencies in Dallas County, Linn County, Marion County, Sioux County and Webster County are getting grants in this first round. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says the goal is to reduce obesity, tobacco use and chronic diseases like diabetes.
Iowa Department of Public Health director Gerd Clabaugh says “broad-based” reform has to start at the local level.
Representatives from the six organizations that have won these grants will meet March 8th to discuss how to collaborate with others in their community, including local elected officials. Clabaugh suggests making it easy to exercise in a community, for example, can improve the health of its citizens, so maintaining sidewalks and creating more walking, running and biking trails is important. Officials expect future funding from these grants will reach all counties in the state.