News Polk County Iowa en Walkability/Liveability Strategies Presented Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:27:31 GMT /healthypolk/news/walkabilityliveability-strategies-presented/ Nationally recognized walking advocate, Mark Fenton, gave a presentation on what a comprehensive strategy to build a "walkable/livable" community needs to look like at a gathering of Central Iowa prevention and wellness stakeholders on October 4th, 2014.

View the presentation.

Partners Launch "Get Healthy DSM Project" Fri, 07 Feb 2014 08:43:34 GMT /healthypolk/news/partners-launch-get-healthy-dsm-project/ The Polk County Health Department, partnering with community organizations, such as the American Lung Association of Iowa, Easter Seals, Lutheran Services in Iowa, and West Des Moines Community Schools began implementing a series of five health events in November, 2013.  These five events are part of the “Get Healthy DSM Project,” an effort coordinated by the Polk County Health Department that helps advance the Healthy Polk 2020 priority to empower more people to take responsibility for maintaining their health.

Read the news release.

Farm to School Gardens, Food Rescue Are Current Focus for Food Stakeholders Thu, 08 Aug 2013 08:50:14 GMT /healthypolk/news/farm-to-school-gardens-food-rescue-are-current-focus-for-food-stakeholders/ Food Stakeholders surrounding the Healthy Polk 2020 priority Ensure access to affordable, healthy food for everyone are working on a number of issues related to food production, food rescue and food education. 

The group is combining forces with the Eat Greater Des Moines Food System Working Group to maximize effectiveness and enhance resource use.

Read the July, 2013 update here.

Teaching Agencies to Better Understand Health Behaviors Mon, 29 Jul 2013 11:26:57 GMT /healthypolk/news/teaching-agencies-to-better-understand-health-behaviors/ Stakeholders from Healthy Polk 2020 Priority #8 (Empower more people to take responsibility for maintaining their health) have been helping health professionals better understand the motivations and conversations necessary to empower people to act on changes to their own health behaviors.

Read the July, 2013 update.

Housing Stakeholders Work to End Homelessness Tue, 23 Jul 2013 16:01:59 GMT /healthypolk/news/housing-stakeholders-work-to-end-homelessness/ Stakeholders for Healthy Polk 2020 priority #9, "advocate for affordable, quality and safe housing," have formed a Continuum of Care to craft a community Strategic Plan to end homelessness.  Read the July, 2013 update.

Greater Des Moines Food Systems Coordinator Now in Place Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:52:51 GMT /healthypolk/news/greater-des-moines-food-systems-coordinator-now-in-place/ Eat Greater Des Moines has a newly created Local Food Systems Coordinator and a Director for the local Food Systems Council.  Read more about how these two positions are working to close the gaps to achieve the Healthy Polk Priority "Ensure access to affordable, healthy foods for everyone."

Read the full announcement.

Visit the Eat Greater Des Moines website.



What is "Motivational Interviewing?" Mon, 01 Jul 2013 16:00:13 GMT /healthypolk/news/what-is-motivational-interviewing/ Motivational Interviewing is a term that seems to be popping up more frequently in the health world. But what exactly is motivational interviewing? It is a form of mutual
conversation that is geared towards increasing the strength of an individuals motivation and desire to commit to making a change. Motivational interviewing is a patient-centered model of communication in which ambivalence, a common problem
among patients, is not only addressed but also explored. The key to successful motivational interviewing is understanding the special language of change that occurs during conversation with a patient.

Read the complete issue brief.

Don't Smile Movement Launches Mon, 01 Jul 2013 15:48:29 GMT /healthypolk/news/dont-smile-movement-launches/ May 30, 2013 – Des Moines, Iowa

Organizers are pleased to announce the launch of the Don’t Smile Movement (DSM). An extension of Healthy Polk 2020, DSM aims to bring awareness to the importance of smiling. The simple act of smiling is an indicator of one’s outlook on life and their emotional health.

According to the American Psychological Association, emotional health can result in achievements at work and in relationships, and plays a key role in physical health. Happy people are more prone to working to achieve goals, finding the resources they needs, and drawing interest from others with their vitality and positivity – key
foundations of success.

DSM aims to measure the progress the county is making in terms of healthy behaviors. DSM’s goals are to count smiles across the county, to build awareness of healthy behaviors, and to broaden engagement in the pursuit of a healthier Polk County in the process. Over the next several weeks, teams of smile spies will be
counting smiles at events around the region, including Dam to Dam, Pride Festival, PechaKucha, and Yoga in the Park.

Read the News Release.


Healthy Polk leaders working on physically active youth Mon, 26 Mar 2012 13:53:29 GMT /healthypolk/news/healthy-polk-leaders-working-on-physically-active-youth/ On November 30th, stakeholders prioritized the initiatives around youth physical activity and two projects were launched: "Create a case statement that captures the link between physical activity and academics that references both the local conditions and nationally recognized best practices" and "Create a school culture that supports daily physical activity"

 To learn more about this Healthy Polk priority read this issue brief

Healthy Polk 2020 provides access to nutritious foods Fri, 20 Jan 2012 13:39:07 GMT /healthypolk/news/healthy-polk-2020-provides-access-to-nutritious-foods/ Read the following article from the Des Moines Register to learn about work that is being done to advance the 10th priority of Healthy Polk 2020 (Ensure access to affordable, healthy food for everyone).

Healthy Polk 2020 provides access to nutritious foods

Food leaders gather for Healthy Polk 2020 Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:59:22 GMT /healthypolk/news/food-leaders-gather-for-healthy-polk-2020/ One of the Healthy Polk 2020 priorities chosen by Polk County residents is "ensure access to affordable, healthy food for everyone." Watch to see how community stakeholders gathered on May 13, 2011 to advance new projects related to this priority.
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