Healthy Iowans: Iowa's Health Improvement Plan 2012-2016 focuses on 39 critical health needs and provides a blueprint for addressing them. Healthy Iowans builds on health planning that is already taking place by numerous private and public sector organizations across the state. Iowa's health improvement plan provides a starting point to identify strategies and initiatives that are addressing critical health needs with the understanding that no one plan could reflect everything that is being done to tackle Iowans' needs. Iowa's health improvement plan is intended to be a flexible document that will be updated annually to reflect new and changed strategies and to monitor progress in meeting the plan's goals.
Healthy Iowans belongs to all Iowans. Considering the broad array of factors that affect health, many partners were needed to conduct assessments and develop the health improvement plan. The role of the Iowa Department of Public Health is to coordinate this collaborative effort. In addition, the actions outlined in the Healthy Iowans blueprint include who is responsible for completing specific objectives/strategies and a timeline for completion.
Iowa's health improvement plan can be used by individuals or groups for various purposes. For example, local health advocates may use Healthy Iowans to improve grassroots collaborative efforts or guide policy development. At the state level, the health department uses the plan to ensure accountability for taking action on critical health needs. Some organizations may cite Healthy Iowans in grant applications, while others may use it to focus their attention on a particular health issue.