Our health system has a new name. Iowa Health System is now UnityPoint Health

Character Counts

Character Counts

Trinity Healthy Living

Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential


UnityPoint Health - Trinity Organization of Character Award



A 1998 community-wide survey reported that Fort Dodge needed to help their youth succeed and reach their full potential. A task force was formed to investigate various youth programs and initiatives around the country. The findings suggested an initiative/model that combined Character Counts with Youth Asset Building and Service Learning models would increase youth potential - the results were Character Counts in Fort Dodge in 1999. An 18 member Coordinating Council was established in 2000 and a coordinator was hired to lead the initiative. Since its inception, Character Counts in Fort Dodge provides youth with opportunities to develop important character values and leadership skills.  The goal is to help youth reach their full potential and become positive and productive members of the community.


Character Counts in Fort Dodge is a member of the National Character Counts Coalition and works closely with the Institute for Character Development at Drake University. Character Counts in Fort Dodge is an initiative of UnityPoint Health - Trinity's Healthy Living department.

Our Mission:

To promote positive character building in our homes, schools, businesses and community.

Our Vision:

For every individual in the greater Fort Dodge area to embrace and practice good character by demonstrating trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.


Our Goals:

  1. Place character building at the forefront of the Fort Dodge agenda by raising the consciousness of the entire community.

  2. Raise the commitment of the entire community to positive youth development.

  3. Involve all the youth of Fort Dodge in the promotion of character building at home and in the school and community.

  4. Integrate character education into new programs and support existing programs.

  5. Integrate Service Learning into new programs and support existing programs.

  6. Build and maintain a pro-active approach to character building as a way to improve the health status, well-being and quality of life of the community.

  7. Help the community develop and implement coordinated, long-term efforts to promote the positive development of our youth.

  8. Engage our youth in building assets in their own lives and the lives of others.