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Our History

Hills & Dales was established on the belief that every child has a right to personal development in an atmosphere of love and affection.

In 1966, Jamie Barwick was born into this world and joined his mother Elaine Barwick and four sisters. While only a few days old Jamie became very ill, and what happened in the upcoming days, months and years forever changed their lives and the lives of many others with disabilities from throughout Eastern Iowa. Elaine’s love for her son, and her realization that services designed to meet his needs were not available in the area combined with her compassion to help others, and the fortitude to never give up became a reality when Hills & Dales was established in 1973. The organization was founded with the belief that every individual has a right to personal development in an atmosphere of love and affection.

What started as one family’s mission to take care of their son has grown to help hundreds of other children, young adults and their families who faced similar challenges.

1973 Hills & Dales was founded as a foster care facility serving 5 residents, one of whom remains living at the center today.

1976 Educational opportunities were provided on-site through the Dubuque Community School District.

1982 Residents began attending off-site integrated programs within the public school system.

1985 Licensed as an Intermediate Care Facility for Mental Retardation/Intellectual Disabilities.

1992 Received 501(c)3 non-profit status.

1992 In-home services program was established.

1995 Vocational Opportunity Center was established on-site.

1996 Jamie Barwick Hills & Dales Foundation was created.

1996 Apartment living program was established.

1999 Vocational Opportunity Center moved to an independent location.

2000 Established the Building Meaningful Lives funding program for facility renovation and expansion.

2003 Completed the renovation and expansion of the Residential Center at 1011 Davis Street.

2005 Hills & Dales purchased the property at 3505 Stoneman Road, in Dubuque, for expansion of Home and Community Based programs.

2006 Hills & Dales assumed the services at the Dubuque LifeTime Center.

2006 Established collaboration with the Dubuque Community School District for their Life Training Program at the Community Center.

2006 Five Hills & Dales programs received a three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

2008 Celebrated 35 years of building meaningful lives with numerous events and celebrations.

2008 Launched the Building Meaningful Lives Now & Forever Capital Campaign.

2008 Established and opened an inclusive childcare and preschool center.

2008 Began the paid-work opportunity for adult clients through the creation and sale of all natural Bogey Tales Dog Treats.

2008 Created the MARS (Mentoring and Retaining Staff) program for new Hills & Dales employees.

2009 Reaccredited for three year period through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for five Hills & Dales programs.

2010 Partnered with the Step by Step organization to provide an additional community-living option in downtown Dubuque.

2010 Hills & Dales and Riverview Center created a partnership and received a three-year Federal Grant totaling $450,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women’s Education, Training, and Enhanced Services to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women with Disabilities Grant Program.  “United for Change” is the new collaboration, and is committed to promoting access and empowering survivors of sexual abuse/violence with disabilities.

2010 The Telligen (formerly IFMC) Community Initiative awarded a grant to establish the Safe Transitions and Accessible Childcare Program that occurs at the Childcare Center.  The program aids school-age children who are on the Autism Spectrum, or who have other related disorders that are struggling with transition & lack of routine when the school day ends.

2011 At the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, Hills & Dales was awarded the Non-Profit of the Year award.  In the fourth year for the Awards of Distinction, the organization was recognized for our service and dedication to people with disabilities through our inclusive programs.

2011 After competing through a grant submission process became 1 of 500 non-profit finalists across the country in the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program and won a new Toyota Sienna Minivan.

2012 Received a QRS (Quality Rating System) rating of 4 for the Hills & Dales Childcare Center.

2013 Hills & Dales celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

2014 Received a QRS (Quality Rating System) rating of 5 out of 5 for the Hills & Dales Childcare Center.

2016 Received a QRS (Quality Rating System) rating of 5 out of 5 for the Hills & Dales Childcare Center.

2017 Hills & Dales named one of Iowa’s 2017 Top Workplaces, and ranked 11th out of 50 midsize companies/organizations! This award is based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey by a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. The recognition of Hills & Dales as a top Iowa employer is a benchmark achievement that is especially rewarding because it was measured by our most valuable asset, our employees!

2018 Hills & Dales celebrated its 45th Anniversary.

2018 Reaccredited for three year period through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for several Hills & Dales programs.