The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

September 30, 2013

Health care exchanges near; Iowa outreach planned

(Continued)

Denise Hotopp, vice president of organizational integrity for Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, said her organization would hire three full-time and between three and five part-time navigators using $257,142 in federal grant money. She said the three full-time people would start training next week, with a goal of being fully trained and certified by Oct. 7. The part-timers might not be in place until early November.

"We will go wherever community demand requests it. We will be making contact with libraries, community centers," Hotopp said.

Shelby Cloke, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which is hiring five navigators in Iowa with $214,427 in grant money, said they hoped to have them all in place in several weeks. A third grant recipient, Genesis Health System, did not return a request for comment.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups are also working to fill in the information gaps in Iowa. Anthony Carroll, associated state director for advocacy for AARP Iowa, said he was doing events around the state, talking to people about the law.

"This isn't about promoting it. What we're trying to do is educate people," Carroll said. "There's a huge vacuum of people who want to know what the law means."

Looking ahead to Tuesday, Gerhart stressed that it was going to take some time for this process to work.

"People need to take their time. It's just the first day," Gerhart said.

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