Community Health Improvement
Sustainable health. Sustainable health care.
Everyone in Iowa and South Dakota deserves exceptional, affordable health care coverage. In 2008, we recognized that health care costs were rising at an alarming rate — faster than virtually any other segment of the economy. The costs risked making the system unsustainable for future generations. We’ve been working to minimize health care costs and bring the increases to no more than the Consumer Price Index.
Health always comes first—before insurance, before anything else. Our most important job is the health and wellness of our members and their communities. We encourage healthy lifestyle choices and empower our members to take control of their health. So when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced the Healthiest State Initiative in 2011—challenging all Iowans to rally together to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation, as measured by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index®—we quickly raised our hands to get involved.
To play a major role in the success of this initiative and improve the well-being of Iowans, we brought Blue Zones ProjectExternal Site to 15 Iowa communities. The program was successful in laying the foundation for our communities to make small, incremental changes. Here are just a few examples:
- Three communities were recognized nationally for “Complete Streets”—a policy that creates safer, more accessible streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.
- More than $850,000 invested to improve sidewalks allows people to move more naturally.
- Local parks received more than $1 million and gave community members a safer place to be active.
- Walking school buses—enacted in several communities—resulted in increased physical activity for kids.