Helping People. Changing Lives.
October 2020 Volume 30; Issue 1
From the Executive Director's Desk
October is the first month of the agency fiscal year. Fiscal staff are closing activity for the year and preparing for the audit. This has been an interesting year for us financially. Additional funds to support our services have been received as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some of those funds may be used over the next 2 years while others must be utilized by the end of the calendar year 2020. We are grateful for the confidence that state and federal agencies have placed in us. If another stimulus package is passed by Congress, we will most likely receive some of those funds as well. Congress has passed a continuing resolution which provides funding for federal operations through December 11, 2020. Prior to that date, another spending authorization bill will have to be passed. Obviously, the result of the election on November 3rd will have an impact on that spending bill.

Iowa ended the year (June 30, 2020) with a $300 million-dollar surplus. The current year’s revenues are still uncertain but having some funds in surplus from the previous year is a very positive sign. 

LIHEAP (Energy Assistance) applications for seniors and disabled persons begins in October. Staff will continue to take most applications on-line as the pandemic is still impacting our service delivery methods. We will continue to do our best to reach families. The process of on-line services proved to be very effective last year and we expect the same to be true again.

W.I.C. services continue to be provided electronically. Iowa has an exemption through November 22, 2020. This process is working well. I am hopeful the exemption will be extended for at least 6 more months. This would give us adequate time to address COVID-19 needs at our clinic locations.

It is hard to imagine what the coming year will bring but I am confident there will be many opportunities for Mid-Sioux. If the pandemic has taught me anything it is that our agency can weather almost any storm. We will most certainly face adversity in the future but our experiences in 2020 will help us to meet and overcome those challenges.

Enjoy the fall. It is a wonderful time of year.
Head Start is all about promoting a health lifestyle for our pregnant moms and children. Health screens are a big part of making sure our children are ready to learn!

Within 45 days of enrollment all children are encouraged to participate in getting their physicals, immunizations and dentals done with area providers. Physicals and immunizations need to be up to date if they are entering the classroom due to licensing standards. What makes Head Start and Early Head Start so great is that they promote health beyond the guidelines and follow the EPSDT Standards. Head Start and Early Head Start provide lead screens, hearing and vision screens, blood pressures, height and weight assessment, nutrition assessments and fluoride varnishes.
Screens are a great way to watch the development of the children, but physical activity is also needed to promote health. With the help of the I Am Moving I Am Learning program, children learn to dance, march, skip and sing their way to a healthy body.

Our program participates in the State of Iowa Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Through the CACFP funding, our program offers free nutritious meals and snacks each day for center-based children. Nutritious activities are provided for home-based children and nutritional support to pregnant women. 

Encouraging healthy lifestyle promotes better learning, and happier children who are more prepared for kindergarten. 
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) of Northwest Iowa would like to congratulate Jami Huster, Child Care Consultant, as she completed the Program for Infant Toddler Care (PITC) training modules 1-4. PITC of Iowa approach equates good care with training infant/toddler providers who are preparing themselves and the environment so that infants can learn. For care to be effective it must explore ways to help providers get "in tune" with each infant they serve and their individual needs. As a PITC Infant/Toddler Specialist, Jami Huster will be able to provide services on technical assistance, consultation and training for the unique needs of infants and toddlers for Preschool and Child Care Programs.

Jami states, “I am excited to put my skills in place by being a resource for providers throughout region one who are facing challenges/needs with infants and toddler in their care. My hope is to help providers give the best quality care during those first 3 critical years of children’s development.” 

Congratulations Jami! 
Dawn Badker and Monique Ortiz also had the opportunity to attended 16 hours of Healthy and Equitable Communities Training. This professional development opportunity focuses on the historic and present-day impact of structural racism and other forms of oppression that has created dramatic differences in health across populations and communities. Where we live can impact our access to resources and can ultimately influence a variety of health outcomes. When there is a difference in health status among distinct segments of the population, there is a health disparity. Health inequities are disparities which are modifiable, associated with social disadvantage, and considered ethically unfair. Health equity is the concept that people should have the opportunity to attain their full health potential and have fair opportunities in housing, transportation, employment, education, and other factors considered determinants of health.

Dawn stated, “The training helped give us awareness, knowledge and tools to use in our everyday work towards helping create healthy, equitable, thriving communities for families to live in! With this added insight and knowledge, we can help advocate for a more diverse group being “brought to the table” when planning and creating policies that will affect the communities we live.” Great work Monique and Dawn for completing and practicing these tools in the workplace! 
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