Community health forum to be held in WC

North Iowa business and community leaders are invited to explore how to make their workplaces and communities healthier at a Nov. 19 event in Webster City. 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 Webster City Community Theatre.

The Webster City 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 North Iowa business leaders interested in collaborating with the college to make their communities healthier. The Business Leadership Network northern region encompasses 16 counties: Butler, Calhoun, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth, Pocahontas, Webster, Winnebago, Worth and Wright.

“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 Mona Everson, owner and CEO of Life & Health Care in Webster City, encouraged fellow business leaders to attend the event and get involved. “It’s important for everyone in the business community to better understand the role of public health, not just those of us who work in health care,” she said. “Public health relates to worker safety, productive businesses, and community well-being, so we all have a stake in it.”

Keith Mueller, a professor and head of the College of Public Health’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, organizers said. The event is free, but registration is needed. Visit to register.