Healthiest State Initiative announces award winners

By Jami Haberl on Friday, February 16, 2018

Efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans recognized

DES MOINES, IA (Feb. 16, 2018) — Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative (HSI) is proud to announce the award winners of the inaugural HSI awards. These winners were recognized for advancing efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans.

The winners in each of the five categories included:

Individual                                                     Large Workplace
Angela Drent – Sioux City                             Meredith Corporation – Des Moines

School                                                            Small Workplace                                                                
Pierce Elementary – Cedar Rapids               Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health –  
                                                                           Mason City     

Healthy HometownSM Powered by Wellmark Communities

Cedar Rapids 
Mason City
Sioux City

“The Healthiest State Initiative is proud to honor the individuals and organizations who have done tremendous work to improve the overall health and well-being of Iowans,” said Jami Haberl, Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “Becoming the healthiest state in the nation takes time. Each of these awards winners have built an excellent foundation for sustainable, healthy habits in their organizations and communities. They have set a great example for other individuals, communities, schools and workplaces.” 

HSI reflects on a successful 2017

Since announcing the new structure and new tools available for all Iowans in November 2016, HSI has made great strides in bringing together public and private partnerships to engage worksites, communities, schools, restaurants, organizations and individuals to work toward becoming the healthiest state in the nation.

Some of the key highlights from past year to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of Iowans include:

  • Iowans in all 99 counties participated in the annual walk.
  • Families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits received more than $65,000 worth of healthy food from more than 300 local farmers through the Double Up Food Bucks program.
  • A total of 117 worksites, 69 communities and 30 schools have taken online assessments to learn how to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • Awarded 15 Iowa Walking College fellowships that enabled community advocates to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.
  • Participated in the launch of 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count, an initiative to encourage healthy behavior.

“We have made great strides, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Haberl. “In the coming year, the Healthiest State Initiative will continue to increase the number of Iowans living an active and healthy lifestyle.”

To learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative, visit


The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit

Note to media: Images of the winners are available at

  • Angela Drent-1 w-Jamie-1 (L to R): Jami Haberl, Angela Drent, Jamie Pollard
  • Meredith Corp-3 (L to R): Jami Haberl, Marci Cordaro, Tim O’Neil, Stephanie Kite, Madison Matthias, Jamie Pollard
  • Pierce Elementary-3 (L to R): Jami Haberl, Stephanie Neff, Matt Brems, Jamie Pollard
  • Cerro Gordo County Dept of Public Health Group-1 (L to R): Kelli Gerdes, Karen Crimmings, Shirley Stephen
  • Cedar Rapids Group-1 (L to R front row): Stephanie Schrader, Brad Hart, Ashley Vanorny (Lto R back row): Jamie Pollard, Jami Haberl, Stephanie Neff, Jeff Pomeranz, Sandi Fowler, Kelsey Logan, Jami Haberl
  • Mason City Group-2 (L to R): Jamie Pollard, Liz Conley, Kelly Hansen, Angie Determan
  • Sioux City Group-2 (L to R): Jamie Pollard, Angela Drent, Angel Wallace, Kevin Grieme, Becky Carlson, Jami Haberl