The Heritage Agency has been a department of Kirkwood Community College since its beginning in 1971. Kirkwood Community College is an example of a “multipurpose entity” described in the Older Americans Act as an approved structure for an Area Agency on Aging. Additionally, the State of Iowa allows for this structure.
The governing body of the multipurpose entity shall be responsible to the Iowa Department on Aging for the administration and operation of the aging programs under the multiyear area plan. The Kirkwood Community College Board of Trustees is the legal entity for The Heritage Agency. While this structure is unique in Iowa, it is not nationwide. The Older Americans Act authorizes a wide array of service programs through a national network of 56 state agencies on aging, 629 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 244 Tribal organizations, and 2 Hawaiian organizations representing 400 Tribes.
Heritage has a cooperative relationship with the Kirkwood Foundation, an entity separate from the college itself. Heritage’s Older Iowans Fund is part of and managed by the Kirkwood Foundation. This effort is intended to ensure the future funding of many programs.