UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Healthy Polk 2010

Healthy Polk is a movement of individuals, businesses and community organizations focused on improving the quality of life and health status of people in the community.

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is a sponsor and supporter of Healthy Polk 2020. UnityPoint Health staff and departments lend their skills and expertise to this movement to ensure that our community's health needs are addressed.  The Center for Healthy Communities provides the Chair for Healthy Polk and works closely with partners to support this movement.

Healthy Polk's mission is to improve the health status, longevity and quality of life for all persons of all age groups, socioeconomic levels and ethnic backgrounds living in Polk County.

Research suggests that healthy communities are characterized and influenced by four things:

  • Increased access to clinical care.
  • Greater commitment to wellness & prevention.
  • Healthy places where we live, work and play.
  • All of us taking greater responsibility for our health and adopting healthy behaviors.

Every ten years, people who live and work in Polk County have the opportunity to participate in the development of a community health plan, Healthy Polk, which guides the use of community resources to support improved health and quality of life for the subsequent decade.  The result is a community-owned health agenda consisting of 10 priorities residents feel are needed to create conditions essential to a healthy community.

  1. Devote additional resources to prevention and wellness.
  2. Provide youth with more ways to be physically active every day in school so they learn to become active adults.
  3. Increase the availability of accessible, affordable public transportation.
  4. Make sure that all people living in Polk County have health care insurance coverage.
  5. Expand health coverage and services for families who can't afford private insurance but don't qualify for public programs.
  6. Ensure equal access to health care for all.
  7. Encourage more medical providers to focus on prevention, education, and wellness.
  8. Empower more people to take responsibility for maintaining their health.
  9. Advocate for affordable, quality, and safe housing.
  10. Ensure access to affordable, healthy food for everyone.

During the next 10 years, Healthy Polk 2020 will work with our community's members and existing efforts to:

  • Map existing work toward the priorities
  • Identify gaps
  • Develop policy
  • Coordinate efforts
  • Leverage resources
  • Monitor outcomes

For more information about Healthy Polk 2020, visit our website.