The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today recognized leaders in nutrition and physical activity at the 2017 Iowa Governor’s Conference on Public Health in Des Moines. The leaders must emulate the IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion vision of “an Iowa where healthy living is accessible, valued and supported by all.” The winners must strive to make the bureau’s mission a reality by “ensuring that Iowans have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle by providing education and resources, building partnerships and supporting communities.”
- Nutrition and Physical Activity Seasoned Leader: Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative. The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative is a collaborative partnership comprised of partners from Luther College, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Northeast Iowa Community College, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and the school districts across Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties. The Initiative’s work has included extensive safe routes to school work, walking school buses, early childhood programming, farm to school, as well as healthy cooking and leadership skills for 4-H program youth.
- Physical Activity Seasoned Leader: Angela Drent, Siouxland District Health Department. Angela Drent has been a leader in cultivating partnerships and leading community coalitions to address safe routes to school, walkable and bicycle-friendly communities, and encouraging the use of non-motorized transportation. Angela focuses on working with local city officials to change and enact policies so that Woodbury County communities are designed for residents to be able to walk and bike safely and conveniently in the future.
- Nutrition Seasoned Leader: Des Moines Area Religious Council. The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) has been at the forefront of community leadership for more than 60 years. The largest food-pantry network in Iowa offers a healthy-choice distribution model focused on the delivery of fresh produce, meats, dairy and other nutritious items. Rather than focusing on shelf-stable, calorie-dense, premade boxes of food, DMARC offers individuals facing food insecurity the ability to shop for fresh, heathy items. DMARC provides an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
- Nutrition and Physical Activity Emerging Leader: Jessy Sadler, Saydel Community Schools. Jessy works with students, parents and teachers to identify new and creative approaches to promote healthy living in the district. This has included providing healthy foods to students in place of traditional snacks, providing health-related prizes in place of food rewards, and collaborating to provide new after school physical activity opportunities. As the district director of food and nutrition, Jessy goes beyond the legal requirements and attempts to meet them in a way that promotes heathy living.
- Nutrition and Physical Activity Emerging Leader: April Blau and Beth Dubbelde, Child Care Development Homes. April and Beth are leading the way in making the child care environment better for nutrition and physical activity. The registered child development home providers completed assessments of their in-home child care centers, developed action plans to improve their nutrition and physical activity options, and implemented the plans. This includes setting goals to add new fruits, vegetables, beans and meats to their menus and adding more indoor large-muscle activity as well as adding to their outdoor play space for more diverse and robust outdoor play.
For more information about the IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion, its programs and grants, visit http://idph.iowa.gov/NutritionHealthPromotion.