Project Recovery Iowa

Natural disasters are inevitable, leaving us with feelings of anxiety, loneliness, isolation, burn-out and even a sense of loss. For individuals with disabilities these challenges are even more apparent. Project Recovery Iowa is here to promote resilience and empowerment to Iowans recovering from the challenges of a natural disaster.

Project Recovery Iowa is here to provide services to all Iowans recovering from a natural disaster. We promote coping skills, resiliency, and empowerment to help individuals, families and communities as they face the difficulties and challenges that come from disasters.

This program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through a contract with the Iowa Department of Human Services to offer free counseling, virtual activities, and help finding resources. This program can help Iowans learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of natural disasters.

University of Iowa Health Care’s Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) provides this support specifically to Iowans with disabilities, their families and caregivers. The program is operated through Iowa Compass, the disability-specific information and referral service as part of the state’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.


Counselors at the CDD have training and expertise in supporting Iowans by offering:

  • One-time or ongoing social check-ins
  • Virtual activities to increase social interactions and build community
  • Access to community resources
  • Development of coping skills through ongoing friendly visits

Virtual activities calendar

Care Team

Center for Disabilities and Development Project Recovery Iowa Counselors

  • Mike Lightbody, MPH, Team Lead
  • Julia Ganda, MSW, Crisis Counselor
  • Libby Conley, MDiv, Crisis Counselor