ChildServe knows kids, and we know specialty healthcare.

Our team of experts helps identify and meet the unique needs of children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries and other special healthcare needs.

We Meet Families
Where They Are

By believing in them, we help them believe in themselves. When we take that step with each family, everyone takes the first steps Forward Together.  

To build upon our long tradition as a leading provider to children with special healthcare needs, ChildServe has launched a $10 million comprehensive fundraising campaign “Forward Together.” Resources generated from this initiative will expand ChildServe’s signature programs in complex medical care, pediatric rehabilitation and behavioral health and autism.

Impact the Lives of Children

By lending your support, you come alongside ChildServe in our mission to impact the lives of children with special healthcare needs and their families through life-changing partnerships and expert loving care. 

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Campaign priorities

Current statistics indicate there are over 100,000 children with special healthcare needs in Iowa. We must do everything in our power to serve these children and their families, allowing them to experience life to the fullest.

The Forward Together vision is our carefully-developed plan to serve the growing numbers of families needing the care that ChildServe is so uniquely positioned to provide. Our efforts will be focused on three impact areas:

Address critical gaps in care for the growing population of young adults with medical complexity who currently have few placement options

Provide behavioral health services to thousands of children who may not be served by other providers due to a dual diagnosis of developmental disabilities 

Create a new state-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation unit – the only pediatric facility of its kind in the state 

What Makes ChildServe Unique?

The only organization of our kind in the nation, offering over 30 programs and services for children with special healthcare needs under one roof .


The largest pediatric rehabilitation provider of our kind in the Midwest


Iowa’s only Autism
Day Health program


Physician-led by Iowa’s only board-certified pediatric physiatrist, Fred Klingbeil, MD


Iowa’s only comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation medicine program designed exclusively for children and teens


Iowa’s only pediatric long-term care program for children with complex medical needs


Iowa’s only CARF-accredited rehabilitation program with specialties in both pediatrics and brain injury

Campaign Progress

  • 71% 71%

$7,142,687 of 10 million

List of Donors

Current as of June 18, 2019

$500,000 – $999,999

Peggy Fisher & Larry Stelter
Connie French
Joanie & Dan Houston
Prairie Meadows
State of Iowa RIIF
The Principal Foundation

$250,000 – $499,999

Cindy & Allen Sabbag

$100,000 – $249,999

Susan & Dennis Albaugh
Tiany & BJ Baker
Margo & Don Blumenthal
Patty & Jim Cownie Charitable Fund
Charlotte & Fred Hubbell
Holmes Murphy
Nancy & Bill Knapp II
Dr. Teri Wahlig & Mark Feldmann
Kim & Rich Willis
Kathi & Larry Zimpleman

$50,000 – $99,999

American Equity Investment
Life Insurance Company
Dr. Elizabeth Brown & Matt Busick
Melissa & Steve Chapman
EMC Insurance
Gina & John Hale
Joyce & Terry Lillis
Jill & John Lundberg
Seneca Companies
Bradley Waller

$25,000 – $49,999

Bankers Trust & The John Ruan Foundation
Rebecca & Pete Cartwright
George Cataldo
LaNae & Joe Ceryanec
ITA Group
Elaine & Jared Johnson
Julia Lawler & Scott Johnson
Charlene & Don Lamberti
Virginia & Dr. William Lepley
Celia & Tom Mahoney
Jean & John Matovina
Rhonda & Mike McCoy
Diane & Dave McKenzie
MercyOne Des Moines
Shirley Poertner
Mike Sobotka
Tarra & Thomas Stewart
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines
Michele & Steve Whitty

$10,000 – $24,999

Julie & John Bruntz
Mary & Don Con
Shannon Coeld & Kirk Irwin
Lana & Dave Comstock
Peg & Bill Ehler
Robin & Mark Gambaiana
John Gibbons
Susan J. Glazer Foundation
IMT Insurance
Anne & JC Risewick
Catherine G. Stjernberg
Patty & Brian Laurenzo
NCMIC Group, Inc.
Sammons Financial Group
Renee & Steve Scha
Jackie & David Van Ahn
Jennifer & Sean Vicente
Walnut Hills UMC/
Daniel Lepley Endowment
Sandy & Mike Wegner
West Bank
Ann & Jim Willer

$5,000 – $9,999

Debbie & Kip Albertson
Susan & Kevin Anderson – In Memory of Jesse Anderson
Val & Ken Bilbrey
Katie & Jay Byers
Doug Cretsinger
Kathy & Hayward Draper
Julie & Matt Grotnes
Paula & Matt Haney
Melinda & Mark Hanrahan
Laura & Dave Mackaman
Mindy & Troy Moss
Kathie & Dave Nelson
Curtis Van Veldhuizen
Emily Willits & Craig Sieverding
F.A. Wittern Charitable Foundation


$1,000 – $4,999

Erica & Christopher Axiotis
Vanessa & Brett Blanchfield
Loren Brockhouse
Pat & Jerry Deegan
Patty & Doug Dornacker
Nora & Dave Everett
Julie & Jim McCulloh
Meredith Foundation
Deval & Dr. Yogesh Shaw
Shirley & Ross Stafford
Dr. Sally Studer & Craig Anderson
Maria & David Wood
Marne & Mike Woods

Up to $999

Paula Curran
Brenda & Greg Cushing
Holt Plumbing & Heating
Susie & Dennis Langwith
Kerri & Matt Lundberg
Lois & Lawrence Van Heukelom
Ann & Owen Twedt

Donor Profile

Joanie and Dan Houston

After touring ChildServe for the first time, Joanie Houston knew right away that ChildServe’s mission to help children with special healthcare needs live a great life was something she wanted to support.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think there was an organization doing everything ChildServe is doing right here in Iowa,” says Joanie. “When I see the kids at ChildServe and learn what ChildServe can do for them, it fills my heart. We’re so fortunate to have ChildServe in our community and state. It’s the right thing to do to help expand it to reach as many kids as we can.”

Joanie, who serves on ChildServe’s Board of Trustees, and her husband, Dan, who serves as Principal Financial Group Chairman, President, and CEO provided the lead gift for the Forward Together campaign. The Houstons’ charitable investment in ChildServe includes a $500,000 personal gift, plus $500,000 in matching gift program dollars provided by Principal’s philanthropic arm, the Principal Foundation. 

Dan Houston and the ChildServe Foundation team surprised Joanie with the name and creative design of JoJo’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit. JoJo is what the Houstons’ grandchildren call Joanie.

“Joanie and I have long believed that every child deserves the opportunity to grow up healthy, educated, and safe,” says Dan. “ChildServe has shown us that believing in the spirit of a child can change lives, including our own. Joanie and I, along with the Principal Foundation, thank everyone who has provided their early financial support and encourage others to give to ChildServe’s campaign so we can continue to move Forward Together.”

What I tell people is, you may not know about ChildServe, but I promise you that in one way, shape or form, you will be touched by it. Whether it’s your neighbor’s child, coworkers child, your grandchildren, you will be touched by it,” says Joanie.

ChildServe Legacy Roll of Honor

The ChildServe Legacy Roll of Honor has been established to honor those individuals and families who have included the organization as a beneficiary of their estate plans. Membership is accorded by written confirmation of planned gift arrangement. Qualifying gifts include bequest designations, trusts, life insurance, retirement assets or life income arrangements.

Committee Members

Campaign Chair

Tom Mahoney

Campaign Committee:

Kip Albertson
Reynolds Cramer
Jerry Deegan
Nick Gerhart
Joanie Houston
Brian Laurenzo

Chris Littlefield
Larry Stelter
Tom Stewart
Kim Willis
Teri Wahlig
Mark Gambaiana

Contact Us!

Mark Gambaiana

Vice President of Development

515 251-5572

Erica Axiotis

Director of Development

515 251-5515

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ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 4,500 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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