Annual Awards FINALISTS

posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Healthiest State Initiative announces Annual Awards finalists

Winners in each category will be revealed at Feb. 7 ceremony

The Healthiest State Initiative has announced the finalists for the 2019 Healthiest State Annual Awards. Individuals, communities, schools and workplaces will be recognized for their efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans in their respective sectors.

The finalists in the six categories include:

  • Algona
  • Altoona
  • Cass County
  • Clinton
  • Farragut
  • Forest City
  • Knoxville
  • Mason City
  • Sergeant Bluff

Learn more about our Healthy Hometown Community finalists here.

  • Kris Kavanaugh
  • Katie Sandquist
  • Jessica Wegner

  • Ankeny Community Schools
  • Irving Elementary (Waterloo)
  • Pierce Elementary (Cedar Rapids)


  • Merchants Bonding Company
  • POET Biorefining (Hanlontown)
  • Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission


  • DLL Finance
  • Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital
  • Smithfield Hog Production


  • Des Moines University
  • Kemin Industries
  • Meredith Corporation

“We are continually impressed by the work that is happening across the state and our Annual Awards provides an opportunity to showcase that,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “We are excited to recognize the finalists and winners for their efforts to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.”

Each finalist will be recognized and winners from each category will be announced at the Healthiest State Annual Awards ceremony on Feb. 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines.  Each winner will be granted a monetary gift to continue their work focused on improving the health and well-being of their employees, students or citizens.

LOOK BACK AT 2018: How last year's winners spent their prize money


Cedar Rapids was one of three Healthy Hometown Community award winners in 2018.

In addition to the awards, keynote speaker Van Harden will tell the story of his own personal health transformation. Harden, host of WHO Radio’s “Van and Bonnie in the Morning,” lost more than 100 pounds through regular physical activity and improved diet and now inspires listeners to join him in living a healthier lifestyle.

The Healthiest State Annual Awards are sponsored by Hy-Vee, Inc., Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® and Iowa Medical Society.


The Healthiest State Annual Awards are open to the public and tickets are on sale now! Tickets are $25 for individuals or $190 for a table of eight and includes heavy hors d'oeuvres.