posted on Friday, February 8, 2019

3 communities, 1 school, 3 workplaces, 1 individual honored

The Healthiest State Initiative has announced the winners of the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards. The winners were recognized for their efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of their students, employees and fellow Iowans.

The winners in the six categories are:

Healthy Hometown, powered by Wellmark, Community Award:

  • Algona
  • Knoxville
  • Mason City

Individual Award:

  • Jessica Wegner

Education Award:

  • Irving Elementary (Waterloo)

Workplace Awards:

  • Small: POET Biorefining (Hanlontown)
  • Medium: Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital & Clinics
  • Large: Des Moines University

“The Healthiest State Initiative is proud to recognize our award winners who are doing impressive work across the state,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “Each one is an example to other Iowa schools, workplaces and communities of the strides that can be made towards health and wellness. Each of our winners put ideas into action and created sustainable change in their respective sector.”


MORE PHOTOS: 2019 Healthiest State Annual Award winners & finalists

Each winner was granted a monetary gift to continue their work focused on improving the health and wellbeing of their employees, students or citizens. The Healthiest State Annual Awards were sponsored by Hy-Vee, Inc., Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, Iowa Medical Society and Capital City Fruit.

Healthiest State Initiative looks back on successful 2018

In addition to the awards ceremony, Healthiest State Initiative Board President Jeff Russell gave an update on the organization and highlighted key accomplishments from 2018:

  • More than 800 walks across all 99 counties were registered to participate in the Healthiest State Annual Walk.
  • Three new events were launched to motivate and educate Iowans: Healthiest State Annual Awards, Healthiest State Month, 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices! Count Summit.
  • Secured a second federal grant to fund the Double Up Food Bucks program, which in 2018 added three retail grocery locations and saw nearly $50,000 in healthy food sales.
  • Added 95 Healthy Choices Count! Registered Sites in the education, early care, after-school and health care sectors. Created a new resource to support these sites.
  • Launched the Progress Tracker to better measure and inform Iowans on the progress we are making toward our goals.

“The organization has made impressive strides in collaborating with public and private partners to help Iowans work towards our goals of: Eat Well, Move More and Feel Better,” said Russell, President and CEO of Delta Dental. “We look forward to continuing to work across our state to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.”