Appanoose County Teams Up with Live Healthy Iowa for Better Health

Posted 11/17/2017 in News

Centerville, Iowa, November 17, 2017 — Appanoose County is teaming up with Live Healthy Iowa to improve the health of the county’s residents and improve its overall ranking in the newly released Active Index. Since 1988, the obesity rate in Iowa has increased from 14 percent to 32 percent. Iowa’s less than desirable national rankings for obesity and inactivity have contributed to the overall health of the state’s residents, which led to development of the Active Index.
     Currently, out of the 99 counties in Iowa, Appanoose County ranks 3rd in the Active Index, with a participation rate of 16.51%. The 2017 ranking improved from the 2016 ranking of 28. Sarah Haluska, RN at Mercy-Centerville who leads the Appanoose County Coalition said the local group is excited by the improvement and has been actively working to increase the county participation.
     Live Healthy Iowa’s Active Index provides a measurement of where each county ranks across Iowa. Rankings in the Active Index are based on county members’ participation in select Live Healthy Iowa and Iowa Sports Foundation challenges and events, including the 10 Week Wellness Challenge, Live Healthy Iowa 5K, The Next Step Challenge, Kid’s Fall Fitness Day/Healthiest State Walk, Summer Iowa Games and Winter Iowa Games. 
     “Like other counties in Iowa, we know that the obesity rate and overall health statistics of Appanoose County are something that we need to address,” said Haluska.
     “Forging a closer partnership with Live Healthy Iowa by working to achieve a better Active Index ranking will provide us with a roadmap for improvement and help us to engage our residents – of all ages and activity levels – to participate in healthy and active opportunities to improve their health.”
     Recently, county members met with Dr. Amy Michelle Willcockson, director of Live Healthy Iowa and [Chuck Long, CEO and executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation and former NFL and University of Iowa football star] to discuss Appanoose County’s health rankings and develop a plan for improvement.
     “We’re excited to be working with Appanoose County to develop a countywide activity plan, set goals for improved health and rankings, inspire and motivate individuals and companies, provide turnkey programs and attractive incentives, and foster accountability among participants,” Willcockson said.
     “When individuals start to care more about their own health that can extend to family, friends and neighbors – people within one’s community – contributing to a healthier and more active county. Our goal with the Active Index is simple and straightforward: to improve the overall health of Iowans person by person, county by county.”
     There is no charge for counties to be part of the Active Index; there are only minimal participation fees in the annual challenges.
      For more information how you can participate in activities or get involved with the Appanoose County Wellness Coalition, contact Sarah Haluska at 641-437-4422.