City of Iowa City representatives traveled to Ankeny earlier this week to accept a “Healthy Hometown Founder Award” for its efforts to implement initiatives to improve the health and well-being of the Iowa City community. The award was presented at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative “Bringing it Home” conference held at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny on Nov. 1, 2016.

City Council members Pauline Taylor and John Thomas, Assistant to the City Manager Simon Andrew, Parks and Recreation Director Juli Seydel Johnson, and Neighborhood Services Coordinator Tracy Hightshoe, attended the event.

“The Healthy Hometown Founder award celebrates the achievements made in Iowa City,” said Jami Haberl, Executive Director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. “Iowa City 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 Iowa City that were recognized include:

  • Iowa City Community School District students saw a 2 to 3% increase in healthy body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight.
  • Two roundabouts and 1.2 miles of new sidewalks improved access to an elementary school and encouraged walkability.
  • Local employers logged 89,515 miles of steps over the course of one year.
  • A local grocery store expanded its produce selection, resulting in a 215% increase in produce sales.

The event also served as a celebration of the Healthiest State Initiative’s five-year anniversary. This nonpartisan, nonprofit organization engages communities, schools, worksites, businesses, organizations and individuals to take measures to improve their health and happiness while striving to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.

More information about the Healthy Hometown program, including resources and assessments for Iowa communities, is available at:


Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds posed with City of Iowa City representatives Simon Andrew, John Thomas, Pauline Taylor, Juli Seydell Johnson, and Tracy Hightshoe after awarding the City a “Healthy Hometown Founder” award for its health initiative efforts.

Date of publication

Thursday, November 03, 2016