Kelly Garcia


Locking out the public will not lead to healthy decisions on vaccine distribution

BY: - December 21, 2020

I wrote two weeks ago that the COVID-19 vaccination process “is too important for mere lip service in favor of the public’s right to know.” Unfortunately, our state’s leaders don’t agree. Iowans learned last week the public will be shut out of a government advisory board’s discussions on who should have priority access to the […]

Iowa alters COVID-19 death calculations and remains silent on care-facility deaths

BY: - December 8, 2020

The state of Iowa is revising its reporting of COVID-19 deaths to better conform to federal standards, resulting in Iowa’s total death toll from the pandemic increasing by 177. Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Iowa Department of Public Health, announced the change Monday night. She said IDPH will […]


Focus on ethics is encouraging but should extend beyond the discussion of COVID-19 vaccine access

BY: - December 7, 2020

It didn’t get much attention, but one of the tidbits of information released last week about Iowa’s distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine was the inclusion of ethical experts on an advisory panel that will guide the state’s decisions about how, where and to whom the limited supply of vaccines will be provided. Dr. Kelly Garcia, […]

Iowa prepares to distribute first round of COVID-19 vaccines

BY: - December 3, 2020

Iowa is preparing to distribute its first round of COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers and long-term care residents and staff, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Thursday. The state is expected to receive enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to provide shots for 172,000 people, beginning the week of Dec. 13, Reynolds said. With the limited […]


Iowans must fight again for state support of mental health

BY: - November 23, 2020

Two years ago, Iowa had a breakthrough. After decades of dedicated but frustrating work by many Iowans, policymakers finally made progress on addressing urgent needs for mental health services. But they didn’t finish the job. Now, COVID-19 has heightened the need for these services while creating complications and hurdles no one ever imagined back in […]

Troubled state-run school in Eldora gets a new superintendent

BY: - September 11, 2020

The former superintendent of a juvenile correctional facility in Kansas has been appointed to lead the troubled Iowa Boys State Training School in Eldora. The appointment of Wendy Leiker as the new school superintendent follows what the Iowa Department of Human Services calls a “broad search and extensive interview process” that involved DHS leaders, the […]

Reynolds defends DHS’ efforts to protect Iowa children

BY: - September 10, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday she’s not sure why the state committee tasked with reviewing child deaths in Iowa hasn’t convened in 20 years. In 2000, Iowa legislators authorized the state medical examiner to convene a Child Fatality Review Committee to investigate child deaths in Iowa with the goal of determining whether the Iowa […]

Durham: Converted box cars could help solve Iowa’s housing shortage

BY: - July 24, 2020

Iowa could convert train box cars into homes and crank out new houses with 3-D printers to address a shortage of affordable abodes, a top state economic development official said Friday. Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority, told the Iowa Economic Recovery Advisory Board she will propose […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Glenwood ‘whistleblower’ claims parallel the findings of state’s hired consultant

BY: - July 23, 2020

Six former employees at a state-run care facility for the disabled have lost one round in their $10 million lawsuit against the state, but may have had their case strengthened by the state itself. In February, Dr. John Heffron and Dr. Michael Langenfeld, along with four other past employees of the Glenwood Resource Center, sued […]

Economic recovery panel eyes broadband, worker incentives

BY: - July 2, 2020

The head of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Economic Recovery Advisory Board on Thursday asked members to submit “bold, aspirational ideas” for new initiatives. Judging by the panel leaders’ comments, those ideas will include ways to improve broadband service, rural services, and workplace attraction and retention. Panel chairman Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems, said […]

Reynolds appoints Garcia to head public health department along with DHS

BY: - June 30, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Iowa Department of Human Services director Kelly Garcia to temporarily oversee the Iowa Department of Public Health. IDPH Director Gerd Clabaugh, 58, who had been directing the central department in the state’s response to COVID-19, announced he was leaving July 31 “to spend more time with family and seek new […]

Iowa DHS: Drop in abuse, neglect reports is ‘concerning’

BY: - April 15, 2020

A drop in reports of abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults may actually be a sign of trouble, Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, said Wednesday. “At DHS, we’re paying really close attention to abuse reports, which sadly, have dropped,” Garcia said Wednesday during Gov. Kim Reynolds’ news conference. […]