Jami Haberl was recently named executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, a privately led, public initiative intended to inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness. The community-focused effort is using the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® to measure progress toward the goal of making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016.
“We’re thrilled to have Jami leading our efforts to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation,” says Ric Jurgens, president of the Healthiest State Initiative board. “Jami’s experience in leadership and public health will be tremendous assets as we move forward.”
Haberl had been executive director of the Safeguard Iowa Partnership, a statewide public-private organization that organizes responses to disasters such as floods, disease outbreaks and ice storms. Involved in numerous community and state-level organizations, she has been a part-time faculty member for the DMU College of Health Sciences since 2006 and was named the college’s Alumna of the Year in 2014.
The Healthiest State Initiative involves individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based, community-focused effort. When the initiative was launched in 2011, Iowa was ranked 19th in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Today, Iowa ranks 10th and was recently challenged by the state of Oregon in a friendly competition to become the nation’s leader in well-being.
“Iowa has made great strides in the past three years,” Haberl says. “I’m excited to build on that progress — progress that is getting the attention of others across the country.”
Plans for 2015 include the implementation of a well-being assessment and certification program for workplaces, school and communities, as well as the launch of workgroup programs designed to drive Iowa’s ranking higher. For more information about the initiative, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com.