Global Health Organizations in Iowa

GHS student working with Local Foods Connection




A Global Health Studies track student worked with Local Foods Connection
on food sovereignty issues which are experienced by Iowa City 
immigrant and refugee communities



See also a list of International Organizations in Iowa on the International Studies website

Blue Zones Project (Iowa City)​
Many local volunteer opportunities, including single-day commitments and, more often, 6-month commitments requiring about two hours per week. Email to learn about internship opportunities with Blue Zones.

CARTHA (Iowa City)
CARTHA (doer in Sanskrit) cultivates Collaborative Doers for Humanity ("Carthans") who bridge technological and social innovations to advance glocal good. The CARTHA Fellows program is designed to introduce younger faculty, professionals, and students into intergenerational, academic-practitioner networks of Collaborative Doers.

Center for Worker Justice (Iowa City)
Their mission is to unite low-wage workers across race, ethnicity, and immigration status.and work to pursue social and economic justice through education, leadership development, issue-based organizing, direct services, and community alliances. Volunteers are needed to interpret, tutor English, and provide childcare. Interns are needed in many areas of their non-profit work. 

Community Health Free Clinic (Cedar Rapids)
Many volunteer opportunities at this clinic that serves the uninsured and medically underserved, providing primary care, dental, and vision care.

Community Health Initiative- Haiti (Iowa City)
Community Health Initiative sends teams of volunteer doctors, surgeons, and non-medical personnel to Haiti to provide much-needed medical services in rural areas. Most opportunities are volunteer positions.

Coralville Community Food Pantry (Coralville)
Coralville Community Food Pantry distributes nutritious groceries, offers food to families with children, shares free community meals, equips our neighbors with tools to grow their own food, and connects people facing diet-related health conditions to fresh produce grown at local farms. Volunteer help is always needed at the pantry. Volunteers can also lend expertise on the Operations, Communications, Grant Writing, Fundraising, or Volunteer Support Committees.

Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC) (Des Moines, Waterloo, Marshalltown)
EMBARC is a community driven, grass roots coalition organization by and for refugees from Burma. As the collective voice of different ethnic groups from Burma, EMBARC strives to address shared issues, and work together towards common goals to uplift all communities through advocacy, education, and community development.

Field to Family (Iowa City)
Field to Family works to create a more local, healthy and sustainable food system. They envision a region where people eat with the seasons, where farmers make a living, and our ecosystem is diverse, abundant, and healthy.

Free Medical Clinic (Iowa City)
The Free Medical Clinic provides support and health care for those who are unable to receive care due to limiting factors such as scheduling and expenses. There are mostly (and many) volunteer opportunities available, for those in both medical and non-medical fields.

Grow: Johnson County (Iowa City)
Grow: Johnson County is an education-based farm program of Iowa Valley RC&D focused on reducing food insecurity and empowering a new wave of local growers. They are currently utilizing four acres of land located at the Johnson County Poor Farm in Iowa City where they grow organic fruits and vegetables that are donated to local hunger-relief agencies and where they provide hands-on gardening and farming experience for community members of all ages and backgrounds. 

IC Compassion (Iowa City)
IC Compassion is a nonprofit organization that engages culturally diverse communities together through hope, opportunities and partnerships. Services include immigration assistance and citizenship classes, ESL/computer tutoring, transportation and food assistance, and a free legal clinic. Volunteers are needed to provided one-on-one tutoring to immigrants in the community. 

InsideOut Reentry (Iowa City)
Returning to and becoming an active member of society after being in prison is tough, and InsideOut Reentry strives to give these individuals every possible chance to build productive lives. Volunteers/Interns are needed to help individuals update resumes, apply for jobs, search for housing, connect with other resources, and arrange transportation. Volunteers also help with advocacy projects, resource lists, and social media. 

Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition (IHRC) (Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Eastern Iowa)​
Works to improve health equity in Iowa communities through mobile outreach, education, and advocacy.

Iowa United Nations Association (Iowa UNA) (Iowa City)​
Campaigns include clean water, anti-malaria nets, and immunization. Iowa UNA has many volunteer and internship opportunities

Iowa Valley Global Food Project (Iowa City)

The IVGFP looks to create an urban model in which local citizens and new Iowans work hand-in-hand to communicate and exchange ways to improve our local food quality, support Johnson County families that lack access to food, provide training and working opportunities, and encourage youth and children to try new and nutrient food types which they grow themselves. 

Local Foods Connection (Grinnell)
Local Food Connection's mission is to make available to the disadvantaged members of the greater Iowa City area the opportunity to enjoy locally made healthful food, to become part of a local, environmentally aware community, and to learn how best to prepare fresh food for the most health benefits.

Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA)
MICA serves children and families in central Iowa, offering programs that mitigate the effects of poverty, including Head Start, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Maternal and Child Health, and Family Development.  Volunteer and job positions focus on public health and community development.

Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (Iowa City and Des Moines)
Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity serves victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities in Iowa. Monsoon’s mission is to end all forms of gender-based violence and build healthy communities through transformative justice and social change. Volunteers assist in the planning, implementation and evaluation of community outreach and education events; help raise funds;and use their Asian language and cultural knowledge and skills in direct services.

Nisaa African Family Services (Des Moines and Iowa City)
Nisaa is a non-profit that aims to end domestic violence and sexual assault in African immigrant and refugee communites by promoting social, economic, and political self-determination of all women. Volunteer opportunities include: multilingual language advocates, community outreach/educators, and event planners/volunteers.

PHC Healthcare (Des Moines)

Primary Health Care (PHC) has been providing medical and dental care to underserved individuals and families. They provide care and services in Ames, Marshalltown and Des Moines. PHC has three dental clinics, seven medical clinics, four satellite clinics across these communities and also operates a mobile health unit. PHC offers a spectrum of medical and dental services including family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB, Title X services, substance abuse, behavioral health, oral medicine, HIV care and services, pharmacy, lab and x-ray. Enabling services are available to help patients with entitlements, case management, transportation, translation and patient education.

Physicians for Social Responsibility - Iowa Chapter (Iowa City)
The Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) is the statewide chapter of the National PSR, a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to preserving people’s health and well being through research, education and advocacy.  Both the state chapter and national organization combine the power of an active and concerned citizenry with the credibility of physicians and other health care professionals to promote policies that protect human health from the threats of nuclear war and other weapons of mass destruction, global environmental degradation, and the epidemic of gun violence in our society. 

Practical Farmers of Iowa (Ames)
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s mission is equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities. These farmers come together because they believe in nature as the model for agriculture and they are committed to moving their operations toward sustainability. Volunteer and employment opportunities are available. 

GHs students complete internships with Protesu
   Global Health Studies students have completed internships
      with Proteus, an Iowa-based global health organization


Proteus (Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City)
Proteus, Inc. provides farmworkers, immigrants, and others with a variety of services that improve their health, education, and economic opportunities. Proteus serves Iowa’s immigrants, minority and low-income populations to make their dream of a brighter tomorrow a reality by helping them overcome language and cultural barriers in order to better provide for their families.



Refugee and Immigrant Association (serving Johnson and Linn counties)
Provides various kinds of support to help immigrants become integrated into our local communities.

UI Global Health Club (Iowa City)
Use this link to find current information about meetings and leadership opportunities.

UI Mobile Clinic (Iowa City, UI Medical School Student Organization)
The mission of the Mobile clinic is to serve needy populations in and around Iowa City; to utilize interdisciplinary-potential from the allied health sciences at the University of Iowa; to raise awareness of existing health resources in the area and to connect people in the communities served to these resources.

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (Des Moines)
USCRI Des Moines helps refugees successfully adapt to life in the United States.  USCRI Des Moines focuses on meeting the immediate basic needs of new arrivals, assisting refugees in obtaining early employment and achieving self-sufficiency, and nurturing community integration for new Americans.  USCRI Des Moines brings hope and opportunity to the lives of refugees and immigrants by defending human rights, promoting self-sufficiency, and forging community partnerships.

World Food Prize Foundation (Des Moines)
Internships available with this organization, whose purpose is to inspire and recognize contributions to human development through increasing the quality, quantity, and availability of food in the world.


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