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A Message From Iowa CareGivers Board Chair

I am honored to begin a second term as Iowa CareGivers Board Chair and want to express my appreciation to IC staff and board members for all their hard work in 2021.  As you may recall, in my message for 2021 I shared that the organization could anticipate equal measures of challenges and opportunities.  I’m proud to report that we confronted the challenges and kept focusing on opportunities.  We were able to transition our educational programming to on-line from traditional in-person without missing a beat even growing participant numbers given no travel was required.  Our support for direct care workers was increased by at minimum monthly updates concerning pandemic issues and identifying resources to aid them both personally and professionally.  We shared their stories statewide in hopes of shining a light on and giving recognition to this “essential workforce” and their daily sacrifices.  And we provided an even stronger presence in advocating for DCW with local, state, and federal entities regarding specific issues facing the direct care workforce that were magnified during the pandemic.

It seems as we begin 2022, we can anticipate the same challenging landscape that existed in 2021. The Board of Directors has determined that we commence this year with a second “bridge” year.  This link will allow us to continue and expand our current efforts. This will also prove a year for us to better understand the “new normal” and how our strategic plans moving forward will continue to maintain the organization’s key pillars of education, recognition, advocacy, and research intended to positively impact all direct care worker, family caregivers and residents of Iowa.    


Maribel Slinde
Board Chair

100% Vaccinated and Can Meet in Person Once Again!

We are grateful for the board, council, and staff and for all direct care workers!! Success in the areas of advocacy, programs, development, and research was highlighted, but the real highlight of the gathering was the stories shared by Council members about how they and those they assist have been impacted by the pandemic. It was truly an inspirational day and a time of renewed commitment to our Mission: To enhance the care and support of Iowans by providing education, research, recognition, and advocacy for those who provide direct care.

2021 Board of Directors

Elisabeth Buck, Board Vice Chair

United Way of Central Iowa

Kim Downs, Board Secretary
Retired, Telligen
Heather Elammari 
Indian Hills Community College
Scott Hartsook, Attorney 
Hartsook Law Office
Jerry Jenkins, Jr., Board Treasurer 
Agency Owner, Farmers Insurance Group
Jim Knoepfler
Vice-President Administration
EveryStep Care and Support Services
Deb Madison-Levi
Affiliates Management Company | Iowa Credit Union League
Julie McMahon
Retired, Iowa Department of Public Health
Jim Miles-Polka,
P.E., Client Director
Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC
Josephine “Jodi” O’Donnell
Ames, Iowa
Maribel Slinde, Board Chair
Retired, WesleyLife Home and Community Services
Pat Steele
Retired, United Way of Central Iowa

2021 Board Advisors

Nancy Anderson, Advisor
Retired, Aging Resources of Central Iowa
Tom Carpenter, Advisor
Retired, Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C.
Dr. Robert Denson, Advisor
President, Des Moines Area Community College
Betty Grandquist, Advisor
Retired, Iowa Department of Elder Affairs and Iowa Family Caregiver Program
Anne Kinzel, Advisor
Iowa State University
Deanna Lehl, Advisor 
Retired, Family Nurse Practitioner
Ivan Lyddon, Advisor
Retired, Iowa Health Foundation

Charlotte Nelson, Advisor
Retired, Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

Shirley Sorenson, Advisor
Retired, Des Moines Area Community College