What has Heart of Iowa Been Up To?

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Heart of Iowa is collaborating with the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, “Mother-Infant Study,” to examine the role of oxytocin in brain responses of mothers by observing how mothers interact with their babies. This occurs by scanning the mother’s brain after she has received a nasal spray containing oxytocin or a water placebo. During the scan, the mothers will view pictures of their baby and hear their baby’s cry. This involves a mother interview, videotape play and 2 brain scanning sessions. There are a total of four visits over a 2-3 month period.


HOI also continues to provide substance abuse treatment services to women while: addressing mental health, healthcare, housing and other needs. In addition, HOI is in the 3rd year of the PPW grant serving pregnant and post-partum women with recovery support services—We are at 75% and working toward achieving 80% by end of grant in September. The PPW grant is placing more focus on the role and involvement of father’s in the mom’s recovery and in the lives of their children. Currently, we are strategizing the best way to use carry-over funds for the PPW grant by the end of September. The goal is to gain feedback to improve services and involvement of dads in treatment to support their children. HOI has successfully enrolled and served 47 and will reach the goal of 50 set by IDPH.