As a medical and health sciences institution, Des Moines University emphasizes holistic health and wellness in its eight graduate degree programs and in its on-campus clinic. The comprehensiveness of its wellness program landed the University the 2019 Healthiest State Large Workplace Award at an awards event Feb. 7.
“We are proud to recognize Des Moines University with this award,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative and a graduate of DMU’s master of public health and master of health care administration programs. “As a health sciences university, wellness is one of their core values, and it shows in their extensive programming, policies and resources dedicated to health and wellness of their entire campus community.”
The University’s 25,000 square-foot Wellness Center sports a full-size gym, running track, exercise classroom, a wide variety of equipment, intramural sports and a wellness teaching kitchen. Its Wellness Pays program offer employees financial incentives for working out, getting preventive health care, volunteering in the community and participating in other health-related activities. Its three full-time staff members and student employees lead a variety of exercise classes and offer individual consultations and lunch-and-learn programs.
In addition, the University does not allow smoking on campus and offers smoking cessation programs to interested employees. In the past year, DMU implemented Weight Watchers at Work program, offered several fun wellness challenge programs and partnered with a local farm to bring weekly deliveries of produce to the wellness teaching kitchen for employees and students.
The Healthiest State Annual Awards recognize communities, workplaces, schools and individuals from across the state. Other winners included the cities of Algona, Knoxville and Mason City (Healthy Hometown Community Award); Jessica Wegner of West Union (Individual Award); POET Biorefining – Hanlontown (Small Workplace Award); Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics in West Union (Medium Workplace Award); and Irving Elementary School in Waterloo (Education Award).
Each winner was granted a monetary gift to continue their work focused on improving the health and wellbeing of their employees, students or citizens. The Healthiest State Annual Awards were sponsored by Hy-Vee Inc., Wellmark Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, Iowa Medical Society and Capital City Fruit.
Learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative and its programming and events at IowaHealthiestState.com.