Wabash Bridge in Ottumwa, Iowa, home to one of the UI PRC's community partners. This former bridge, originally built in 1860, was refurbished and is now part of the Wapello County Trails System. A live web cam of the bridge and trail can be found at www.wapellocountytrails.com.

The University of Iowa Prevention Research Center (UI PRC) was first funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2002. The 26 Prevention Research Centers, designated by the CDC, constitute a network of academic, community, and public health partners that conducts applied public health research. Our mission is to improve the health of rural communities in Iowa. We will accomplish this by establishing and maintaining community partnerships, conducting research on health issues of mutual interest, and leveraging our collective resources in the most effective ways possible.


  • Improving the Nutrition Environment Through Changing Concession Stand Options: Eight Steps to Making Healthy Improvements: School concessions at sporting events can be a very important source of funds for student activities and dedicated volunteers work hard to make them profitable. There are opportunities to add healthy options to the menu and maintain profits. Making these options available helps the school send a consistent message about healthy eating. The Eight Steps guide provides practical assistance to help groups make changes. It will assist groups to determine goals, choose probable changes, devise a purchasing plan, assess the profitability of changes, implement the plan, and keep track of set-backs and benefits of the changes. Laroche et al. (2014) found that concession stand modifications for healthier foods were well received and revenue remained high. Some foods like the nacho cheese or popcorn oil were changed (no trans fats, less saturated fat) and other healthy options (chicken sandwich, granola bars, fruit and vegetables, trail mix) were added to the concession stand menu (Laroche et al., 2014). Modifying current food options and adding other healthy options proves to be effective in concession stands.  
    For more information click the link below to access the “Eight Steps” guide. We ask that you complete a very short survey so that we can learn how the guide is being used. You may skip any or all of these questions and still get the guide.
  • Ottumwa Community Health Survey: The University of Iowa Prevention Research Center (UI PRC), which is a partnership with the University of Iowa College of Public Health and Ottumwa Community organizations, conducted a survey in 2012-2013 to learn about the health needs of Ottumwa. The survey asked questions about health, eating, exercise habits as well as views about the community and talked to over 1000 people. Interviews were conducted in Spanish or English. Results will be used to evaluate health issues and develop projects to improve the health of the Ottumwa community. To see the summary report click here.
  • Rural areas of the country have been especially affected by the obesity epidemic. Because many people eat in restaurants this is a possible point of environmental intervention. Small, owner-operated rural restaurants simply cannot afford many of the restaurant programs currently available. Dr. Faryle Nothwehr has developed a toolkit with the Iowa Department of Public Health based on the Rural Restaurant Healthy Options Project. This project was a low-cost, low-risk intervention in rural restaurants that was designed to influence ordering behavior. To get the materials and learn more about how you can set up healthy options in a restaurant click here. For more details about the research project "Healthy Options in Rural Restaurants" please visit the UI PRC's core research page here.

This website was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1-U48DP001902-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention