Case Studies

Central Iowa Healthworks

Central Iowa Healthworks is a non-profit that seeks to train and support central Iowans seeking careers in health care (e.g. CNA & RN). They wanted to understand the key drivers of graduation for their programs.

DSM Data for Good examined 300 past students in their programs. A variety of factors were examined like training partner, gender, and support services offered by Healthworks. Findings were shared at monthly check-ins with key Healthworks leaders. 

Key findings:

  • HealthWorks has a much higher diversity in their program (27% white) when compared to a survey that found that 97.75% of nurses in the region are white.
  • Utilization of supportive services and transportation expenses over $50 were a key factor of program completion.
  • One of their training partners for their short-term program had a much higher graduation rate.
  • Long-term participants had a high likelihood of failure in pre-requisites.


  • Healthworks used this information to offer supportive services up front instead of waiting for clients to request them.
  • This information helped inform the conversation with the lower performing training partner and suggest changes in their training practices.
  • Caused HealthWorks to think about how standardized testing practices can be a barrier to getting into the programs.