William T. Story Portrait
Assistant Professor

Dr. Story’s research focuses on better understanding household- and community-level factors that are critical to the improvement of maternal and child health among vulnerable populations (in the U.S. and abroad) and translating that research into effective interventions and policies. In January 2017, Dr. Story started the Congolese Health Partnership (CHP), which is a collaboration between the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), and leaders in the Congolese community in Johnson County. The CHP was established based on the growing number of Congolese refugees settling in Johnson County in the past decade and the health care obstacles that these families face on a daily basis, including transportation, language, cultural differences, and difficulty navigating a complex health system. In order to bring the community together to address an issue of mutual concern, the CHP decided to focus on maternal and child health. The overall objectives of the CHP are to (1) improve knowledge about health care during pregnancy and childbirth and (2) build trust between Congolese families and health care providers in Johnson County. The CHP has established a foundation onto which they can build other health interventions to improve health outcomes among this growing population in Eastern Iowa. For example, the CHP’s work has garnered the attention of the State of Iowa’s Bureau of Refugee Services, who funded a three-year project to address refugee mental health needs in Eastern Iowa. This project extends the work of the CHP to all refugee communities and service providers in Johnson and Linn counties.