By Jami Haberl on Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Year in Review, and the Work Ahead
2022 Progress and Strategic Changes for 2023
2022 was a year of growth, learning, and planning for the future for the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. As we move into the 13th year as an organization, the board of directors spent time reflecting on the past and looking to the future.
During the last year, the Healthiest State Initiative expanded work in the healthy nutrition incentives and dedicated resources to meet the growing demand of the Make It OK campaign. We saw the return of in-person events for the first time since 2020 and continued to see a rapid demand for the work surrounding healthy eating, active living and mental health.
A few highlights from 2022 include:
- Make It OK, a campaign to reduce mental illness stigma, reached the milestone of 1,000 trained ambassadors statewide, and partnered with Kum & Go and the Des Moines Menace for creative ways to expand our message about mental health.
- 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count!, a framework aimed to promote healthy habits, impacted over 380,000 Iowans through schools, healthcare clinics, workplaces, and early care sites.
- Our healthy incentive programs, Double Up Food Bucks and the Produce Prescription Program, continued our fight against nutrition insecurity in Iowa.
- Double Up Food Bucks saw over $800,000 dollars redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables with $234,000 being redeemed at local farmers markets across the state.
- The Produce Prescription Program provided healthcare providers a tool to “prescribe” fresh fruits and vegetables to Iowans living with chronic health conditions, impacting the lives of 319 individuals.
Since the launch of the Healthiest State Initiative, our vision has been to become the healthiest state in the nation. Leveraging the competitive outward view to motivate fellow Iowans to adopt healthy lifestyles and outrank other states.
As we turn to the next chapter in the organization, our mission will focus inward where we create awareness and integrate solutions to improve the physical, social, and mental well-being of Iowans, with the vision that every Iowan has the opportunity to live their healthiest life.
We are excited for the road ahead and invite businesses, nonprofits, government and Iowans to join us in our vision that every Iowan has the opportunity to live their healthiest life.