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 are implementing a series of five health events that began in November and will continue throughout the upcoming calendar year. 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.
Director of the Polk County Health Department, Rick Kozin, states “the aim of the project is to create sustainable partnerships with community organizations with the idea of making the healthy choice the easy choice, both for employees at that organization as well as the population the organization serves.” Activities that will be taking place over the next several months include:
· Healthy Photo Exchange: Using Instagram to build a culture of health through social media (November 18th -December 13th)
· Forget the Paper, Plastic, and Styrofoam Week: Increasing awareness about how the environment affects health (February 10th-14th)
· Stress-Less Week: Laying the foundation for a low-stress life (March 10th-14th)
· Go RAWWW event: An introduction to vegan, vegetarian, and raw foods (April 9th)
· The Skyscraper Climb: A physical activity challenge using skyscraper visuals as progress determinants (April 28th-May 16th)
Sarah Boese, a health educator and member of the Polk County Employee Wellness Team, knows the importance of wellness initiatives within an organization and the benefits they provide to those involved. “Providing possible, practical, and painless wellness opportunities for people, where they work, live, and/or play is not only convenient but also enjoyable; it establishes a new level of accountability and a supportive environment, both of which allow the individual to feel more engaged and motivated.”
The Polk County Health Department is currently seeking organizations that are committed to promoting the health of their employees and/or clients to engage in this project and help recruit participants for upcoming events from February to May. Although participation within an organization is preferred, individuals may also participate. If you are interested in becoming a partner organization, or want more information regarding the Get Healthy DSM project, please contact Atalie Ferring by e-mail at email@example.com.