annual awards

posted on Thursday, February 17, 2022

Theodore's Academy Preschool & Childcare

2022 Healthiest State Annual Award winners announced

Finalists honored during online award ceremony

logoThe Healthiest State Initiative has announced the winners of the 2022 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 10 categories are:

Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark Community Award:

  • Dallas Center
  • Iowa Great Lakes Region
  • Manning

Early Care, presented by Iowa Department of Public Health:

  • Small – Neverland Child Care (Sioux City)
  • Large – Theodore's Academy Preschool & Childcare (Sioux City)

K-12 School, presented by HealthPartners UnityPoint Health:

  • Clay Elementary (Southeast Polk Community School District)

Out-of-School Program, presented by Iowa Department of Public Health:

  • Girls on the Run of Central Iowa


  • Small – Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (Grinnell)
  • Medium – Merchants Bonding Company (West Des Moines)
  • Large – Optimae LifeServices (Des Moines)

Health Care, presented by Iowa Medical Society:

  • UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics – Walnut Creek (West Des Moines)

Individual, presented by Malvern Bank:

  • Daira Driftmier (Hy-Vee KidsFit)

The winners were announced during an online award ceremony Thursday on Facebook and YouTube. Viewers also heard from keynote speaker Jessica Heims, a two-time Paralympian Iowa who spoke about her inspirational athletic journey that led her to represent Team USA at the 2016 and 2020 Games.

SEE MORE PHOTOS: 2022 Healthiest State Annual Award winners

“The work being done by our finalists and winners to create healthier environments for their students, colleagues and fellow community members is critical to the wellbeing of our state,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “We are continually inspired by their efforts and were honored to recognize them at the 2022 Healthiest State Annual Awards.”

Each winner was awarded a monetary prize to continue their work focused on improving the health and wellness at their site. The 2022 Healthiest State Annual Awards are sponsored by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Medical Society and Malvern Bank.

Watch a replay: