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What are Iowa's Top Health Issues?

The following infographic shows the top health issues identified in the 2016 Iowa state health assessment process. The assessment included input from all 99 Iowa counties, via local Community Health Needs Assessments coordinated by local public health agencies, and recommendations submitted by statewide organizations, advisory bodies, state agencies, and individual Iowans. In addition, more than 1,000 indicators from multiple national sources were analyzed to gauge Iowa's performance relative to other states. Finally, Iowa's progress on the current Healthy Iowans plan and information from the 2015 State Health Profile for Iowa was used to identify additional areas of need and population trends that may affect Iowa over the next five years.

Download the full infographic: Top Health Issues in Iowa PDF

Questions or Comments? Click Contact Us and choose Healthy Iowans as the message subject.

What is Healthy Iowans?

Healthy Iowans sets the agenda for solving the top health issues facing Iowans so they can live longer, healthier, more productive lives and enjoy our rich quality of life. The plan is the outcome of a statewide needs assessment involving public and private partners as well as individuals that have identified Iowa’s top health issues and are committed to making changes. Since the 1990s, Healthy Iowans has included a set of measurable goals with objectives/action steps. The Iowa Department of Public Health coordinates ongoing technical assistance, tracking yearly progress, and making revisions. The current Healthy Iowans: Iowa's Health Improvement Plan 2012-2016 is built on health needs identified by Iowa’s 99 counties, contributions from individuals, private and public organizations, and advisory groups, data analysis, and such national resources as Healthy People 2020.

Current Plan

Healthy Iowans: Iowa’s Health Improvement Plan 2012-2016 focuses on 39 critical health needs and provides a blueprint for addressing them. It builds on health planning that is already taking place by numerous private and public sector organizations across the state.

Iowa's health improvement plan provides a starting point to identify strategies and initiatives that are addressing critical health needs with the understanding that no one plan can reflect everything that is being done to tackle Iowans' needs. It is intended to be a flexible document that is updated annually to reflect new and changed strategies and to monitor progress in meeting the plan's goals.

State Health Profile for Iowa

To help in identifying priority health issues and to track progress in improving Iowans' health, IDPH partnered with the University of Iowa, College of Public Health’s Center for Public Health Statistics on the 2015 State Health Profile for Iowa. The 221-page profile includes hundreds of indicators on the following topics: demographics, access to quality health services and support, acute diseases, addictive behaviors, chronic diseases, environmental health, healthy living, injury and violence, mental health and mental preparedness, and preparedness and response.

You are invited!

We invite all Iowans to participate in the 2017-2021 Healthy Iowans process. To contribute, follow the steps below. To learn more about the Healthy Iowans process, read the Healthy Iowans FAQ.

Completed CheckmarkStep 1: Recommend up to 3 health issues that deserve to be included in the plan.

Completed Checkmark

Step 2: Contribute goals, objectives, and strategies for addressing Iowa's top health issues.

Step 3. Comment on the plan.

  • Read the March 2017 DRAFT Healthy Iowans 2017-2021 PDF
  • Click to Give Feedback. We encourage multiple comments, but please only enter ONE comment per form. Each comment should specify the page number and include a copy of the current text, your comments/suggested changes, and your contact information.
  • After you submit a comment, you will be redirected automatically back to this page. You can click on the Give Feedback link again to share more comments. You can do this as many times as you need.


Click Contact Us and choose Healthy Iowans as the message subject. Or, call Jonn Durbin at (515) 281-8936.

Stay Informed

To keep up with current activities and to learn about changes to the five-year health improvement plan, please subscribe to our mailing list. Just send a blank e-mail to join-HealthyIowans@lists.ia.gov.

Page last reviewed: March 15, 2017.

Page last updated: March 15, 2017.

Content source: Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Planning Services