The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is soliciting public comments on its Healthy Iowans 2017-2021: Iowa’s Health Improvement Plan. The plan sets an actionable public health agenda that will impact every person living in Iowa. It is expected that addressing key issues in the new five-year plan will advance the health of Iowans so they can live longer, healthier, more productive lives, and enjoy a rich quality of life.
“Healthy Iowans highlights the collective nature of public health and the importance of broad engagement,” said IDPH Director Gerd Clabaugh. “Public health touches the lives of everyone in the state which requires involvement of many diverse groups.”
An estimated 20,000 Iowans from all 99 counties, including individuals, as well as public and private groups, participated in the planning process which resulted in identification of 26 issues and themes. IDPH also analyzed health and demographic data, compared Iowa’s health status with the health status of other states, and evaluated progress in the last five-year plan in putting together Healthy Iowans 2017-2021. Health issues topping the list in the 2017-2021 plan include obesity, nutrition, and physical activity; mental health, illness, and suicide; and substance abuse.
During the plan development process, IDPH received commitments from 59 organizations and programs invested in making a real difference in the health of Iowans. These groups have engaged other like-minded groups to identify goals, measurable objectives, and strategies relevant to their responsibilities which are directly related to an issue or theme in the new plan.
As coordinator of the state health plan, IDPH will track progress and revise the plan on a yearly basis to account for changes in health needs and address emerging issues.
The draft plan now is available with instructions for submitting comments on the Healthy Iowans website (see Step 3. Comment on the plan)at http://idph.iowa.gov/healthy-iowans/#Invitation. Those wishing to comment on the plan may do so by March 29, 2017.