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The Harkin Institute Wants to Hear From YOU!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Harkin Institute is working with Mathematica and the Iowa Department of Human Services to take a look at 
community-based behavioral health, disability, and aging services across Iowa.  They hope to learn how people access and use these services, including those paid for by Medicaid.  The team will make recommendations after they collect this important information.

 The Department of Human Services has set the following guiding principles for this project:

  • Services should be accessed equitably by all.
  • High-quality care should meet the needs of people living in the community.
  • Service delivery should be well-coordinated, without gaps in or duplication of services.
  • System providers should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  • The workforce should be well-trained, including paid staff and family members.
  • Available services should have demonstrated value to improve health and quality of life.


The Harkin-Mathmatica team will be holding listening sessions throughout Iowa over the next five months (July - November 2022), and you can submit your comments online through the end of August. Here are some things you can do:

1. Go to for updates. You can also subscribe to this page's updates by clicking the link at the bottom of this page (so you get notices when new things are added).

2.  Consider participating in a listening session. The research team will hear from Iowans across the state in-person and virtually at the following locations and dates:

July 7-9: Northeast Iowa (Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Independence, Mason City, Waterloo)

August 4-6: Northwest Iowa (Denison, Estherville, Fort Dodge, Rock Valley, Sioux City, Spencer, Storm Lake)

September 15-17: Southeast Iowa (Burlington, Columbus Junction, Davenport, Fort Madison, Iowa City, Muscatine, Ottumwa)

October 26-28: Southwest Iowa (Atlantic, Clarinda, Council Bluffs, Creston, Shenandoah)

July-November (various dates): Des Moines and virtual

American Sign Language and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided. Participants will receive a $25 gift card for their time. They can also receive a $10 gift card to help cover travel and child care costs. Session space is limited, so the research team requires registration to attend. Sign up by emailing or calling (515) 271-3688.  

3.  Share your thoughts online. You can share your thoughts—anonymously or not—at

This is a great option if the listening sessions in your area are at capacity or not convenient for you to attend. The feedback form will be open from July 5 through August 31.

4. Express your interest in joining the Advisory Committee by emailing us at

Committee members will provide input to the research team to make sure that the assessment reflects the voices of Iowans who use community-based behavioral health, disability and aging services. We currently have all spots filled, but will keep track of people who are interested as opportunities arise in the future.

For any other questions, people can call (515) 271-3688 or email  Please feel free to share this information by email and social media with people who might want to attend a session! 

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