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Businesses, public invited to community health forum

Southern Iowa business and community leaders are invited to explore how to make their workplaces and communities healthier at a Nov. 12 event in Osceola. A keynote speaker will discuss impacts of the Affordable Care Act for businesses in rural Iowa and small communities.

The event also includes a free lunch and roundtable discussions on healthcare policy and reform, the aging workforce, community health and wellness and workplace health and safety. It starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Clarke County Event Center.

The Osceola forum is part of the Business Leadership Network initiative of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Led by Dean Sue Curry, the college is building a network of southern Iowa business leaders interested in collaborating with the college to make their communities healthier.

The Business Leadership Network southern region encompasses 16 counties: Appanoose, Clarke, Davis, Decatur, Jefferson, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne.

“The College of Public Health wants to connect with people who live and work across Iowa, and we really value their perspectives,” said Mitch Overton, Business Leadership Network coordinator. “We’re excited for this opportunity to listen to their ideas for improving their communities and find ways to work together.”

Business Leadership Network member Kevin Klemesrud, president and chief-executive officer of American State Bank in Osceola, encouraged fellow business leaders to attend the event and get involved.

“It’s important for the business community to better understand the role of public health,” he said. “It relates to worker safety, productive businesses, and community well-being, so we all have a stake in public health.”

Dan Shane, an assistant professor in the college’s Department of Health Management and Policy, will give the keynote talk on rural Iowa and the Affordable Care Act. Other faculty and graduate students from the College of Public Health will facilitate the roundtable discussions.

All interested individuals from area businesses, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, community organizations and the public are welcome. The event is free, but registration is needed. Visit http://bit.ly/BLNOsceola to register.


WHAT: Business Leadership Network Luncheon and Community Forum – free. Keynote: Rural Iowa and the Impacts of the Affordable Care Act. Roundtable discussion topics: Aging Populations and the Workforce; Community Health and Wellness; Healthcare Policy/Impacts of Healthcare Reform; Workplace Health and Safety.

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013; 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Clarke County Event Center, 2070 Highway 34, Osceola, IA 50213

WHO: Hosted by the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Open to the public and media; especially geared toward businesses, chambers of commerce, economic development groups and community organizations.

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