Let the Siouxland Chamber Work for You

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce exists to support and advocate for our membership. Recently, two key members, the Iowa Poison Control Center and the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, received significant and positive news about the future of their respective organizations.

First, the Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC) is located in Sioux City and has served the people of the entire State of Iowa for more than two decades.  Executive Director Linda Kalin, a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, has been the poster child for fiscal discipline in the public sector for more than 20 years. 

Leading the statewide IPCC, Kalin has seen minimal increases in her annual budget and leveraged relationships with hospitals, insurance companies, and available federal matching dollars to complement her modest allocation from the state legislature.  COVID-19, however, substantially increased demand for the IPCC’s services and strained the organization’s budget in an unprecedented and unanticipated way.  As a result, Kalin appealed to the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for support in requesting a modest $250,000 increase from the state legislature to meet the growing demand for the center’s life-saving services.

Recognizing both the effectiveness of IPCC, as well as the need for enhanced funding, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds budgeted for an increase and, led by State Representative Jacob Bossman, the Iowa Legislature adopted the Governor’s recommendation and allocated an additional $250,000, ensuring the present and future of this indispensable state-wide agency located in Sioux City.

Simultaneously, the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation (SMEF), which trains family physicians in a three-year medical residency training program in Sioux City, became concerned about their future when similar programs closed in Cedar Rapids and dissolved in Waterloo.  The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce effectively intervened with the Reynolds Administration to address a financial crisis primarily driven by rapidly escalating medical malpractice insurance premiums.

This May, after two years of confidential negotiations, the University of Iowa Department of Family Medicine, as part of the Carver College of Medicine, announced that effective June of 2023, they will assume operations of the Siouxland Family Medicine Center, as well as the medical residency training program for the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation.  This critical development ensures the future and long-term viability of this program. It preserves the pipeline of family doctors in our tri-state area, as well as approximately 70 critically important healthcare jobs in our Siouxland community. 

By Chris McGowan, President, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

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