Learn more about Iowans Fit for Life, our workgroups and important data trends - Iowans Fit For Life Power Point
Amy Liechti, CHES
Worksite Wellness Coordinator
Amy Liechti is a certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) focusing on the worksite wellness initiatives on the Iowans Fit for Life team. She works with the Iowans Fit for Life partnership, state agencies, and other key partners to increase the quantity and quality of worksite wellness programs offered by employers throughout the state. She also assists in finding or developing tools and resources needed to create a healthy workforce.
Amy graduated from Simpson College and Grand View Collage with degrees in Information Systems and Health Promotion. She previously worked as the Wellness Director at the Riverfront YMCA in Des Moines as a Project Manager for Protocol Driven Healthcare, Inc. Amy enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities, and family walks to favorite spots in her neighborhood.
Catherine Lillehoj, PhD
Cathy Lillehoj is the Epidemiologist/Program Evaluator for the Iowans Fit for Life program where she is involved in numerous projects and sits on many local boards. Before her work with the state, she was a research associate at Iowa State University and was an instructor at Des Moines University.
Cathy graduated from City University of New York with her master's degree in nursing and a doctorate degree from Columbia University. Cathy enjoys being active and spending time with her family.
Carol Voss, M Ed, RD, LD
Carol Voss is the Nutrition Coordinator for Iowans Fit for Life and has been with the program since its inception. During Carol's tenure with the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, she has also worked with the Diabetes Control Program and the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program. Carol has been involved in the development of various coalitions and organizations that are related to food and nutrition and was very active in Iowa's Pick a better snackô campaign. Carol currently serves as staff liaison to the Ag and Food System work group and is project lead for Nutrition Environment Measures Survey - Vending (NEMS-V). She also serves on the leadership team for the Food Access and Health Working Group, Iowa Food Systems Council and is the Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinator for the state.
Her past career opportunities have included Nutrition Education Program Director for Midland Dairy Council, Clinical Relief Dietitian and Inventory Manager for Mercy Hospital Medical Center, and Dietary Education Coordinator for Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Prior to her experiences in dietetics, Carol was a home economics and health teacher.
Carol received a Bachelors of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa; a Masters of Education Degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; and the American Dietetics Association Plan IV Dietetics Program from Iowa State University.
Dennis Haney serves as the Iowans Fit for Life program coordinator. His primary roles include the development and coordination of the Iowans Fit for Life partnership, the oversight and implementation of the Iowans Fit for Life State Plan, the management of Eat and Play the 5-2-1 Way health care provider resource, and administrative responsibilities.
Dennis graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science in psychology. In the past, he worked in the health care field directing residential services for people with disabilities and has also worked in human resources. Dennis is an experienced marathon runner and a beginning triathlete.
Kala Shipley, MBA RD
Executive Officer, Health Promotion
Kala Shipley oversees the health promotion initiatives at IDPH including the Iowa Community Transformation Grants, the Healthy Communities Program, Iowans Fit for Life, the Iowa Nutrition Network and Communities Putting Prevention to Work State Initiative. Kala joined the staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics following completion of the dietetic internship and later worked as a school food service director. Kala has over 15 years of experience providing nutrition education to families of young children at WIC Clinics and Head Start classrooms, as well as providing technical assistance as a community health consultant with the state WIC Program and the Iowa Nutrition Network. She also has worked as a decategorization and empowerment coordinator where she provided community and program planning with the goals of decreasing child welfare and juvenile justice spending, and providing opportunities for "every child beginning at birth to be healthy and successful." Kala enjoys spending free time with her family.
Marilyn Jones works with the Iowans Fit for Life as a part-time administrative assistant. She came to the Iowa Department of Public Health after many years as an elementary teacher and music educator. Marilyn supports the work of the Older Iowans work group, helping to keep older adults active and eating well.
Marilyn's time is shared with the Food Assistance Nutrition Education Program or BASICS for Nutrition and Physical Activity. She enjoys exploring new restaurants, walking, listening to music, singing, and playing the organ.
Sarah Taylor Watts, MPA
Physical Activity Coordinator
Sarah Taylor Watts is the Physical Activity Coordinator for Iowans Fit for Life and has been with the program since its inception. Her work with Iowans Fit for Life involves increasing physical activity opportunities for all Iowans and creating a community environment where nutrition and physical activity are the easy accessible choice. Sarah is also on the board for the Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and is the co-chair for the Nutrition and Physical Activity section for the Iowa Public Health Association.
Sarah has been with the Iowa Department of Public Health for nine years. In that time she has also worked in the department's Communication Office and with the Covering Kids and Families program. Sarah's bachelor's degree is in exercise science from Iowa State University and she completed her master's degree at Drake University. Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, riding her bike and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones and the Drake Bulldogs.