BridgetteCongratulations to ALL who Completed Prepare to Care “Core” Class At Hawkeye Community College!!!

BridgetteHome Care Aides at Jasper County Health Department Graduate from Prepare to Care Core Training!  Congratulations!!

Click here to view the press release.

Upcoming FREE Prepare To Care Core Trainings  

Click here to view the full schedule.

BridgettePrepare to Care Core and Mouth Care Matters Graduates and Supporters Present at Governors Conference on Aging and Disability!

L to R: Dr. Anita Stineman, University of Iowa College of Nursing;  Susan R. Hyland, RDH, BSDH, Iowa Dental Hygienists' Association and Mouth Care Matters Instructor; and Rhonda Bowles, & Mary Jude Lyon, Home Care Aides, Graduates; and Rhonda Shoafstall, R.N., all of Dallas County Public Health.



Congrats to First Prepare to Care Core Class Graduates at Southeastern Community College


(Pictured) 3 Core Graduates with Instructor 2nd From Right



BridgettePrepare to Care Launched in Northeast Iowa

CNAs, Home Care, and Hospice Aides from Winneshiek Medical Center & Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union, Graduate from the First Prepare to Care “Core” Class in the Area. 

Amy Manning, RN, NICC, Taught the Class. 

Congrats to ALL!!!!


Mouth Care Matters:  A Pilot with Promise

An oral health specialty program for those who work in direct care yields promising results. 
Please click here to view the highlights.

Oral Health Campaign Pilot Begins  

Madrid Home Communities and Wesley Acres will be joining Iowa CareGivers (in a project supported by Lifelong Smiles Coalition) to conduct an oral health campaign over the next few months.  This project is made possible through the generous support of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and the Iowa Department of Public Health through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement (#DP13-1307)

A committee with representatives from each organization led by two dental hygienists and Iowa CareGivers staff has been busy developing materials and programs for this campaign.  Madrid and Wesley staff and residents will participate in several activities highlighting oral health, including educational articles, posters, in-services and more!  We hope that it will raise attention to the importance of oral health because “there is no health without oral health.”*

*Surgeon General, Report on Oral Health, 2000

Oral Health Campaign Planning Committee including representatives from both Madrid Home Communities and Wesley Acres. 
Pictured L to R: (front) Shonna Partelow, Wesley; Danielle Bloxham, Wesley;  (back) Carly Nelson, Madrid; April Elsberry, Madrid; Danielle Walters, Madrid; Sadie Fuson, Madrid; Teresa Pena, Madrid; Sue Hyland, dental hygienist. Not pictured: Carol Van Aernam, dental hygienist; MaryAnn Young, Iowa CareGivers; Pam Biklen, Iowa CareGivers.

“Prepare to Care” Modules Meet Current Federal Requirements for Home Health Aide and Hospice Aide Training  

Click here to read statement by Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (IDIA).    

Good News! The Iowa Legislature and Governor approved funding to continue to provide the State’s “Prepare to Care” Six-Hour Core Training Free Online Through June 30, 2016 

Take the Free Online Core Training:

Prepare to Care

Note:  “Direct Care Professional” (DCP) is often used in the “Prepare to Care” and other materials on this web page.  Direct Care Professional and Direct Care Worker are used interchangeably.  Those who fall under those titles include Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Homemaker/Home Health Aides, Hospice Aides, Direct Support Professionals, Dietary or Nutrition Aides, Rehabilitation Aides, Medication Aides, and many other titles.


If you wish to change the face of Direct Care and be a positive role-model for the Profession, 'Prepare to Care' will allow you to Challenge yourself and increase your Knowledge. Remember, a well-educated Direct Care Worker makes for a Great Direct Care Professional. The road to a brighter future is in reach.  'Prepare to Care'.— Anthony Wells, CNA, CHPNA  (Anthony served as one of the first Co-Chairs of the State’s Direct Care Worker Task Force)

What “Prepare to Care” Means for You and Your Profession

Over time and with your support, “Prepare to Care” will offer the following benefits:

  • More standardized training
  • Training that will follow you wherever you go
  • Personal ownership of your training credentials
  • Continuing education standards that are directly linked to your certification or specialties in the future
  • Opportunities to specialize in different areas like dementia, oral health care, mental health, or autism.

BridgetteI’ve been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for 21 years but there was so much knowledge I gained about Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) that I didn’t know.  I took the “Prepare to Care” class online.  I would recommend “Prepare to Care” to any Direct Care/Support Professional.” –Brigett DeVos

What is the “Prepare to Care” Program?

Watch this video as an introduction to “Prepare to Care".

General information about “Prepare to Care”
About “Prepare to Care” for Direct Care Professionals
About “Prepare to Care” for employers
About “Prepare to Care” for community colleges
About “Prepare to Care” for consumers, family members, and the public

“Each module of the ‘Prepare to Care’ curriculum provides the Direct Care Professional with knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to develop a specific skill set that can be used to improve the quality of care that you provide in any type of setting.  After completing the Core module, you are able to make choices on the skills you want to develop that will help to enhance your career development.”.— Dr. Anita Stineman, University of Iowa, College of Nursing

What type of training does the “Prepare to Care” Curriculum include?

Click here to view a complete listing of Career Pathways, Course Descriptions, and Specialties or visit the Prepare to Care website.

How can I get started with “Prepare to Care?”

The six hour “Core Training” is currently being offered for free online.  This is a great way to see what the “Prepare to Care” program is about.  The course is for those who are new to the field of direct care and those currently in the field. You can enroll in the “Core Training” by visiting:   Some face-to-face trainings may be scheduled at some community college locations.  Please check with your local community college for availability of the class.

How do I learn more about “Prepare to Care?”

For more details and if you have questions on the “Prepare to Care” program, please visit their website at

How can I get more involved in the “Prepare to Care” movement?

  • Make sure to become informed by reading the information on our website and the “Prepare to Care” website:
  • Take the FREE “Core Training” or a face-to-face “Core Training”
  • Check with your local community college to see if they currently offer “Prepare to Care” courses or plan to in the future
  • Help Iowa CareGivers and the Department of Public Health’s Direct Care Worker Advisory Council promote the “Prepare to Care” program
  • After you take the training, talk about the benefits to others.
  • Stay informed about specialties in areas such as oral health, dementia care, autism, and mental health as they become available

Mouth Care Matters Project Testing State’s First Specialty in Oral Health Care!

Congratulations to the First 70 Who Completed the Training.
Approximately 70 Home Care, Hospice, and Certified Nurse Aides and other Direct Care Professionals just completed the first round of trainings.    

At least two more classes will be held at a later date.  If interested call our office to get your name on a waiting list and continue to check our website for updated information!     

Contact Iowa CareGivers at 515 223 2805 or email Di Findley at or Mary Ann Young at

What You Need To Know:

  • Employers may enroll direct care staff.
  • Individual direct care workers may enroll.
  • Participants must have completed the Prepare to Care 6-hour Core training in order to enroll. Core is free online at    
  • We will be offering face to face Core training in the near future. 
  • Oral Health Specialty Classes are two days in length but we may consider spacing the two days apart by one month.
  • Class size is limited to approximately 20.
  • There is currently no registration fee for the Mouth Care Matters classes.
  • Classes are taught by registered dental hygienists who received special training by the University of Iowa Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry to teach the class.
  • Lunch is provided on each day of training.
  • Training materials are provided.
  • Participants will receive a State recognized certificate after completing both days of training.

Project Information:

  • Mouth Care Matters Project Executive Summary, click here
  • Mouth Care Matters Direct Care Professional, click here
  • Mouth Care Matters General Public Flyer, click here
  • Mouth Care Matters Employer Flyer, click here

Check back for Future Class Schedule and Registration Information!

Congratulations To Round One Graduates of Mouth Care Matters Oral Health Specialty Training!!

Ankeny Class photo gallery #1

Ankeny Class photo gallery #2

Boone Class photo gallery #1

Boone Class photo gallery #2

Carroll Class photo gallery

Newton Class photo gallery

Big Thanks to DMACC for Supporting Mouth Care Matters

"DMACC is dedicated to the education and support of direct care professionals. DMACC strives to meet the needs of the community and we know this is a huge need." -Jaime Haub



23 Dental Hygienists Become Mouth Matters’ Prepare To Care Oral Health Specialty Training Instructors

Twenty-three dental hygienists completed the Oral Health Specialty Instructor Training as part of the Mouth Care Matters project.  The program was taught by Drs. Anita Stineman and Howard Cowen, University of Iowa Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry respectively.

Instructors will provide the oral health education specialty training to up to 150 certified nurse aides; home care and hospice aides; and others who work in direct care.  The project region includes the 22 counties served by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)

For more information call Iowa CareGivers at 515 223 2805 or email Mary Ann Young at or Di Findley at


Mouth Care Matters Milestone Reception Held To Congratulate New Instructors

To celebrate this project milestone a reception, sponsored by DMACC, was held for curriculum developers, funders, instructors, Life Long Smiles Coalition members, and other supporters. Thank you to everyone who joined in the celebration and congrats to the new instructor Grads!

Click here to view photos of the Reception.

Mouth Care Matters is an initiative of the Lifelong Smiles Coalition supported by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. Through a partnership with the University of Iowa’s Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, the Oral Health Specialty Training curriculum was developed as the first specialty to be recognized under the State’s new Prepare to Care curriculum designed for those who work in direct care. Iowa CareGivers was awarded funding for this project from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement (#DP13-1307).