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Foundation Announces $50,000 Community Change Grant to Iowa ACEs 360

Posted on September 20, 2021 in Foundation

Iowa ACEs 360 received a $50,000 Community Change Grant from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation to further expand its engagement and collaboration across the state. The organization focuses on education and awareness to prevent and mitigate the lifelong effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Delta Dental’s Community Change Grants fund innovative projects with a goal of addressing key community health issues. 

Over the past decade, Iowa ACEs 360 has collected data and built a coalition across the state that educates, creates awareness, and develops response strategies, policies, and systems change to better support children and families. In their 2020 report, Iowa ACEs 360 highlighted that 63.7% of Iowa adults report at least one type of trauma in their childhood, with 16.7% reporting at least four types of trauma. For adults of color, women, and those living below the federal poverty level, this impact is more pronounced. The higher the number of incidents of trauma in childhood, the more likely an individual is to have a mental or physical chronic illness, such as depression, COPD, or asthma. 

“We are proud to support the important work of Iowa ACEs 360 as they work to expand their engagement and collaboration across the state,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Our Community Change Grant is intended to support system change at the community level to improve overall health. By increasing the awareness of childhood trauma and creating support systems, our communities will be stronger and more resilient.” 

According to Iowa ACEs 360, basic needs are critical protective factors for Iowa families and have a major impact on equity. A family that can meet basic needs such as affordable housing, food security, and a livable wage is better able to create future success for their children and minimize childhood trauma. 

“When organizations like Delta Dental recognize the importance of our mission, our coalition and our state are substantially strengthened,” said Lisa Cushatt, executive director, Iowa ACEs 360. “This $50,000 grant will allow us to expand outreach and strengthen the network of advocates in communities, especially to those at greater risk including persons of color, women, and those living below the federal poverty level.” 

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation grants focus on innovations to address key health issues, which engage systems change at the community level to improve the oral and overall health of all Iowans. For more information on grant programs, visit