We are where you live, work and play.
Focusing on the Need
There is no quick fix, no one way to solve complex health issues that are affecting this generation and generations to come. That’s why we’re focused on the areas within communities where there is an opportunity to make the greatest impact. Because at the center of it all, we have Des Moines at Heart.
Creating a Culture of Health
We are working to weave healthy living practices and opportunities into our community. From teaming up with city leaders to support more walking and biking routes, to driving initiatives that make healthier food options available in all neighborhoods, to providing our kids with more opportunities to be active in school – we are making it easier to be healthy where we live, work and play in the Des Moines area.
Improving Quality of Life
Living healthy and free of disease makes a critical difference in quality of life. That's why we are working to raise awareness about the vital effect lifestyle has on health, especially poor nutrition and inactivity, and to help children form healthy habits that will last a lifetime by removing obstacles to making healthy choices.
Ensuring Healthy Environments
Being an Iowan should help our health, not harm it. We're working to increase opportunities for people to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives, advocating for Move DSM, a complete multi-modal transportation network for pedestrians, bikes, transit and automobiles. We're also working to make nutritious foods more accessible and affordable for all.
Strengthening the Economy
A community's well-being is directly related to the health of its local economy. The American Heart Association is helping reverse the tax burden from obesity and disease-related healthcare costs by increasing taxes on items that contribute to disease, like sugar sweetened beverages and tobacco. Knowing Iowans spend time commuting and working, we are helping local businesses create comprehensive workplace wellness programs that help people get active on the job.
With human ingenuity, we can prevent heart disease and stroke — and care for people who suffer from these devastating diseases. In Iowa, we are fueling discovery, providing more than $11.3 million to fund 44 studies at Iowa research institutions. Through our Mission: Lifeline initiative we have developed statewide guidelines for the care of heart attack patients, provided vital equipment for rural EMS agencies and hospitals, and are implementing public and professional education that span the entire system of care.
Policy has the power to protect our health, improve communities and drive lasting change. The American Heart Association empowers citizens to take informed action on local and state policies because we can all benefit from things like smoke free laws. We helped ensure all newborns are screened for critical congenital heart defects before leaving the hospital and that all Iowa high school students learn CPR prior to graduation.