Women's Health

Access to health care

There are roughly 2,742 women aged 18–54 in Linn County who are uninsured . Even with insurance, women often struggle to afford high deductibles, co-pays for prescriptions, preventative treatments and exams, medical supplies, and other health care services.

United Way’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) addresses unmet needs to help un- and under-insured women in Linn County have better access health services they need. WLI provides funding to the following partners for a variety of services including preventative care, prescription assistance, dental care, vision care, medical supplies, and co-pay assistance.


Eastern Iowa Health Center
Community Health Free Clinic
Linn County Public Health
Area Substance Abuse Council

Making a difference

For nearly a decade, WLI has invested in women’s health needs by raising $1.2 million and helping more than 11,500 women in our community. In 2015, WLI members and our local partners made a difference for women in need:

  • 9,376 prescriptions filled for women
  • 768 women received funds for medical co-pays
  • 328 women received dental care
  • 74 women received diabetic testing supplies
  • 36 women received eye glasses
  • 34 women received durable medical supplies to meet their health care needs
  • 28 women received HPV vaccinations
  • 21 women received eye exams

Access to mental healthcare

In addition to addressing unmet needs, WLI provides support for Mental Health Navigation & Care Coordination for low-income women to assess and access mental healthcare.

More Iowa women experience depression today than in the past. Low-income mothers are twice as likely to experience some form of depression in their lifetime. Depression causes problems in women’s social lives and can lead to higher divorce, unemployment and poverty rates.

When a mother is depressed, it also negatively affects her children’s cognitive and social-emotional development, behavior, school readiness and overall health. By increasing access to care and supportive services and reducing stigma, women who experience poor mental health can access the help they need in Linn County.

Knitzer,J., Theberge,S. and Johnson,K. Reducing Maternal Depression and Its Impact on Young Children: Toward a Responsive Early Childhood Policy Framework, National Center for Children in Poverty, January 2008

U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.