Osceola Community Hospital is making the most out of their Harkin Wellness Grant
The Osceola County Board of Health was awarded $116,399 in funding to improve the health of their community. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Harkin Wellness Grant program, and the Iowa State Legislature's support of local health initiatives. The board submitted a competitive grant application in the summer of 2008 to the Iowa Department of Public Health to help them implement a creative approach to preventing disease and promoting wellness in Osceola County.
One of the foremost goals of the Osceola Community Hospital Wellness Center is to curb rising obesity rates by increasing collaboration among service providers in the county. The grant proposal speaks about strengthening individual knowledge and skills regarding exercise and nutrition, and educating the community on issues related to obesity.
The overall goals of the project are to:
- develop a community wellness coalition
- create enhancements to community activities through equipment and programming
- to collaborate with physical education programs
- increase physical activity for all ages in the community
- to implement a free county-wide health assessment
- sustain these activities continuously at the end of the two year grant
"We are excited to receive this grant for our county. It implies a spending rate of $17.56/resident (one of the highest spending rates per capita of all 18 grants) and will be the beginning of a change in the way our residents view recreational opportunities."
Plans are to increase availability of facilities, equipment and physical activity in the community. Completed outdoor activities include ice skating, disc golf, cross country skiing, sand volleyball, biking, rock climbing and more. In regard to nutrition and health, healthy cooking classes and nutrition instruction programs will be developed for Osceola County residents.
Health Services, Osceola Community Hospital, ISU Extension-Osceola County, Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District and the City of Sibley.
"Prevention and health promotion today are the keys to reducing health care costs tomorrow and for helping Iowans live a longer, happier life," said U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, who helped secure the federal portion of the new funding. "I congratulate the Osceola County Board of Health and I look forward to learning how this project improves the health of this community."