Julie Christensen Named Director of Iowa's UCEDD

July 12, 2017

On July 1, Julie Christensen, MSW, PhD, assumed the leadership of Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at University of Iowa Health Care. For the past year, she has served as Associate Director of the Iowa UCEDD, working under the mentorship of Bob Bacon, who directed the Iowa UCEDD since 1998 and is set to retire on July 17.

"I have long admired the tremendous work of the Iowa UCEDD, particularly in the areas of promoting employment and decreasing health disparities for people with disabilities. The opportunity to work with Bob over the past year, and to learn from him and the talented team he has assembled, has been a once in a lifetime opportunity," Dr Christensen said.

Dr. Christensen's background includes over 15 years' experience working with youth and young adults with disabilities and mental health challenges and their families, with an emphasis on work with urban poor and other underrepresented populations. She bring considerable experience developing, administering, coordinating and evaluating federal, state and local grant-funded projects with an emphasis on cross-systems collaboration and program evaluation. Dr. Christensen received her undergraduate degrees (advertising and music) from Syracuse University, and a Masters in Social Work from Roberts Wesleyan College. She received a Ph.D. in Health Practice Research at the University of Rochester, with a research emphasis on quality of life for adolescents and young adults with IDD. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Education in Adolescent Medicine (LEAH) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs at the University of Rochester Medical Center in NY.