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Healthy Hometowns

Pictured with Governor and Lt. Governor are Andrea Cardenas, Cheryl Langston, Brian Vanderheyden, John Shierholz and Heather Danzer.

Ames receives Healthy Hometown Founder award

Healthiest State Initiative recognizes community efforts to improve health and well-being


DES MOINES, IA (Nov. 3, 2016) — Ames was presented a Healthy HometownSM POWERED BY Wellmark award at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Bringing it Home conference on Nov.1, 2016. The award recognizes Ames for their dedication and accomplishments toward meaningful health improvement initiatives in their community. 


“The Healthy Hometown Founder award celebrates the achievements made in Ames,” said Jami Haberl, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative executive director. “Ames has been a model for other Iowa communities and is an encouraging example of what can be done when the citizens of a community join together to truly transform their environment.”


Some noteworthy achievements in Ames include:


·         Implementing an electronic cigarette policy.

·         Developing a complete streets policy to present to the City Council.

·         Earning a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

·         Creating summer gardening programs for underprivileged middle school students.

  •          Providing bicycle helmets for all third graders. 

Healthy Hometown program available for all Iowa communities

The Healthy Hometown program is available to all Iowa communities ready to take steps to make the healthy choice the easy choice and improve the overall well-being of their communities.

“One of the best parts of the Healthy Hometown program is the ability for Iowa communities to make improvements that are important to them,” said Laura Jackson, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative board president. “The program offers various levels of support — including assistance from experts if they choose — and guides them to existing resources so they can make their hometown an even better place to live.”


There are three ways communities or organizations can get started. The first is an online self-assessment tool for communities to review where they are at today and how they can connect with existing resources to make enhancements. In 2017, two additional options will be available to help communities put a plan in place for either a specific project or a complete community transformation.


More information about the Healthy Hometown program, including the assessment and resources, is available at:



The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit

Note to media: Pictured with Governor and Lt. Governor are Andrea Cardenas, Cheryl Langston, Brian Vanderheyden, John Shierholz and Heather Danzer.

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