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Mission & Scope

At a meeting in July 2018, the TILT drafted their first mission statement: 


“To create an Iowan place for reflection and relationship building that lifts and builds thriving Iowan Communities”  


In June 2019, the TILT utilized the phased approach previously created for the group in order to articulate a detailed scope for the group. The three phases are described below: 


Phase I

The first phase is to reflect on what trauma informed approaches are and how to measure them as well as begin to quantify work  occurring across  the state in multiple sectors. Relationship building and shared knowledge, successes, and challenges are the focus.


Phase II

The second phase is to use the knowledge gained in phase one to expand trauma-informed approaches.  


Phase III

The third phase is to solidify and expand quality of implementation through the development of a statewide, multi-sector trauma-informed strategic plan.

Building Iowa's Trauma Informed Leadership Team

The State of Iowa recognized the need for trauma-informed practices within communities, schools, businesses, and government agencies. In response to this need, several conversations began surrounding adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and toxic stress. Many organizations approached this needed change with diverse and unique ideas in how Iowa could be a place that supports its citizens who have experienced trauma throughout their life.


Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, a nonprofit organization in Des Moines, supported the development of trauma informed communities in Scott, Linn, Dallas, Henry, Jones, and Pottawattamie Counties by facilitating community readiness assessments.


Some of the lessons learned from the initial trauma-informed communities included the need for an expanded conversation regarding the impact of ACEs, transitioning to a prevention based response to childhood trauma, developing a curriculum (Connections Matter) to create a universal language surrounding trauma and building resilience, and a broad network to disseminate the information through. This information was then shared through the Prevent Child Abuse Iowa chapter network, Early Childhood Iowa, and other agencies. The expansion of trauma-informed communities is a priority in prevention response throughout the State of Iowa and will lead to healthier, happier communities.


It was recognized after the initial trauma-informed communities work that community stakeholders need - and are seeking - an inclusive process to know more about trauma-informed work happening beyond their community. By sharing knowledge and expertise, stakeholders can leverage resources and build momentum for a trauma-informed Iowa.


The Iowa Department of Public Health developed a community health strategic plan with input provided by these agencies and identified priorities supporting a statewide trauma-informed network. Initial efforts included hiring a trauma informed prevention and care coordinator and the development of a planning team: the Trauma Informed Leadership Team (TILT).


Liz Cox and Holly Hanson created the initial vision for this team intentionally selecting members with passion, trauma knowledge, strategic thinking, strong ties in their state and/or communities, as well as the time to be part of a vision planning group. 


The group first met in May of 2018 to explore the possibility of forming a multi-sector, statewide group to better ensure coordination and collaboration of trauma-informed principles and activities. Through this team, passionate people have met to connect, share strategies, success, challenges, that will ultimately enhance the well-being of all Iowans through integration of trauma-informed approaches.

About TILT Membership

If you are interested in learning more about TILT membership, please fill out a contact request form. 


To learn more about membership reach out to Holly Hanson ( or Liz Cox (

To apply for membership: CLICK HERE.

To view our membership matrix: CLICK HERE

Mission and Scope
Current Members

Current TILT Members


Holly Hanson, Iowa Department of Public Health

Liz Cox, Polk County Health Services


Cheryll Jones, University of Iowa - Child Health Specialty Clinics

Corrine Peek-Asa, University of Iowa - Iowa City Public Health

Dawn Sickelka, Northwest Iowa Community Partnerships for Protecting Children

Gladys Alvarez, Orchard Place

Lucy Holms, Polk County Health Services

Rhonda Rairden-Nelson, Iowa Department of Public Health

Nancy Ankeny-Hunt, Iowa Department of Education

Steven Onken, University of Missouri - Kansas City

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