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A Message From Iowa CareGivers Board Chair


As an American and a member of the human family my heart aches for those who are suffering in the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19. As board chair of the Iowa CareGivers my heart goes out to each and every caregiver, professional and family as they try to cope with the immense difficulties and risks brought on by the pandemic.

As a citizen, I find myself dismayed and angry at the responses of our governments and some institutions to this threat. We can and must do better in providing Direct Care Workers with the proper protective equipment. We must honor the efforts the direct care workforce is putting into caring for the elderly and disabled in the home care setting and in the congregate care setting.

As I serve my last year as the Chair of the Iowa CareGivers (IC) Board of Directors I remain inspired every day at the level of commitment by the Board, the Council, the staff and our consultants, in ‘healthy’ times and in a pandemic. 

We will eventually get past this pandemic. Let’s be sure that the next ‘normal’ includes a better, more equitable economy in Iowa and the United States. Let’s work together to build an economy that does more than talk about heroes, and actually pays real wages for essential direct care personnel.

No matter what, the four pillars of our mission remain the same: Education, Recognition, Research, and Advocacy. And our focus will always be on serving the needs of those who work in direct care, the Iowans they serve, and their families.

I pledge to do all I can to help lead this mission-driven and laser-focused organization to the next level of its development. With more than 25 years of experience in serving the needs of direct care/service workers and in leading model public policy and practice initiatives to bring stability to the direct care workforce, IC is well-positioned to advance support for caregiving all over Iowa. The Board, Leadership Council, staff, and consultants have devoted considerable time, energy and sheer doggedness in growing this amazing organization, but the challenges never stop changing. 

We will continue to promote and provide quality educational opportunities; increase community awareness regarding Iowa Care Gap; state-wide recognition of the contributions of Iowa s 70,000+ direct care workforce; and lead on advocacy and research regarding caregiving issues.

We are ready to take on the challenges of 2020 and beyond, and we look forward to working with you and many Iowans in this important and rewarding work.  Please embrace Iowa CareGivers ’ vision and mission. Together we can have an amazing impact on the greater good!  If you would like to help IC achieve these goals, please consider volunteering, donating to Iowa CareGivers by clicking here. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page or getting involved in some other way.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Anne Kinzel, Board Chair
Iowa CareGivers


Maribel SlindeDown to Earth Strategic Planning

Iowa CareGivers Board, Advisors, and Council members, staff, and consultants rolled up their sleeves and “dug in” to plan a “Down to Earth” and impactful future for Iowa CareGivers and the Iowans it serves!

View the photo gallery here!

2021 Board of Directors

Elisabeth Buck, Board Vice Chair

United Way of Central Iowa

Kim Downs, Board Secretary
Retired, Telligen
Heather Elammari 
Ottumwa Job Corps
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
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