Polk County Health Department

Local Artist Completes Final Installment of Motivational Artwork at the Polk County Health Department


(Des Moines, IA) – Local artist, Dick Shook has completed his last and final oil canvas painting for the Polk County Health Department waiting room. Shook got the idea after visiting the Health Department for a flu shot and thought the bare walls needed artwork.

Over the past few years, Shook had heart surgery and developed other medical conditions. Through this experience, he developed an understanding about waiting rooms and medical facilities. So Shook and Polk County Health Department Director, Rick Kozin collaborated on paintings that brightened up the waiting room but would also elicit healthy lifestyle choices. “The opportunity at the Polk County Health Department was to create imagery that could be visually interesting, fun and motivational in terms of healthy lifestyles without being obviously preachy or clinical and with the potential to make waiting more comfortable and useful,” said artist, Dick Shook.

At the Health Department, clients are seen for a variety of clinical services. The idea was to develop artwork to remind clients that clinical services are only one piece that creates wellness. “Shook’s artwork represents the importance of physical activity and the importance of our social networks that supports us to live healthier lifestyles,” said Rick Kozin, director of Polk County Health Department. “The brilliance of Shook’s artwork is he manages to bring the outdoors to the indoors and encourages us to get outside.”

The three completed paintings showcase families and friends biking, swimming and playing basketball. You can view the paintings at the Polk County Health Department’s lobby, which is located on 1907 Carpenter Ave, Des Moines, Iowa.




Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314