Our health goal

United Way of East Central Iowa’s health goal is to improve social connectedness & mental health functioning of low income adults by 10%.


UWECI Health Report Card

See the progress we’ve made, together.

Who is at risk?

The percentage of those who report their health as fair to poor increases as annual household income decreases. Low-income individuals can face many barriers to healthy living, such as cost and availability of services and transportation. Overall, about 14% of Linn County residents reported their health is fair or poor in 2010 (BRFSS, Linn county 2010).

In general, the rates for disease, risk factors, and poor health outcomes are worse for low-income, low-educational attainment, and minority populations in Linn County and the surrounding areas. Increased smoking, obesity, poor mental health, less access to fresh food, and chronic diseases all impact these populations with greater frequency.

Rise in Chronic Disease

Health Factors


Mental Illness: Prevalence and Treatment

According to the Centers for Disease Control Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Health-Related Quality of Life Survey the populations at highest risk for frequent mental distress are Black, Non-Hispanic persons at 16.9%, persons aged 55 to 64 years at 9.1%, and women at 8% versus 7.1% over all for the state of Iowa and 12.6% for the nation in 2010.

  • 1 in 4 adults has a mental health disorder and less than one-third of those with a diagnosable mental health disorder receive needed treatment. According to the Iowa 2012 Mental Health National Outcomes Report, the community utilization rate of mental health services per 1,000 for Iowa is 16.91 vs. the National rate of 21.67.
  • 1 in 5 children has a mental health disorder and less than one half with a diagnosable mental health disorder receives treatment in a given year.

United Way’s goal is to improve social connectedness and mental health function of low-income adults by 10% by 2020.

  • Preventative Health strategies increase factors that contribute to long-term health by increasing education, screenings, and early detection, and reducing healthcare barriers.
  • Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences decreases crisis and trauma and increases social and emotional supports that improve mental health and build resiliency.
  • Community Living increases family and social supports that improve independence and the ability to live and function within the community.
  • Access to Care through the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) addresses unmet needs and provides support for mental health navigation and care coordination and the Linn County Community Partnership with Affordable Care Act outreach.

Health Goal Chart