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Mid-Iowa Health Foundation

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation is a private, grantmaking foundation investing in system-level strategies working to address social determinants of health and create equitable opportunities for children and families to thrive in Greater Des Moines.

Leadership and Representation

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation strategically prioritizes investing in community-driven, system-level strategies that address social determinants of health. The Foundation’s Board and staff learned critical insights from various sources (including KidsCount data and Undesign the Redline) about health disparities, particularly racial disparities. In response, the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation launched the HealthConnect Fellowship with the understanding that programs and specific strategies cannot fully address the issues on a scale that will change the community.


 The HealthConnect Fellowship builds capacity and networks of system change advocates, leverages expertise, builds connections within the community to inform decision-makers and aligns systems to work collaboratively to improve children’s health. Mid-Iowa Health Foundation connects advocates to lead system change by providing funding for innovative advocacy efforts, training from national experts, coaching from state and local leaders, networking opportunities and connections to community voice.


Building a sustained movement that can improve children’s well-being requires relationships that leverage experiences, knowledge and resources. By selecting fellows who are all working on different issues, the Foundation strives to foster learning across issues and influence policy and practice changes that collectively shift systems.

The Fellowship began in 2017 with seven fellows and the launch of a third cohort in spring 2022 brings the total HealthConnect Fellows to 27.

Contact - Denise Swartz

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