Knoxville Wellness Coalition receives Healthiest State Initiative Award

Submitted photoMembers of the Knoxville Wellness Coalition attended the Healthiest State annual awards ceremony.

The Knoxville community has received an award from the Healthiest State Initiative for its efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of students and community members. This work is in collaboration with Healthy Hometown Powered by Wellmark.

The Knoxville Wellness Coalition received the award in the Community category, in response to several initiatives. The coalition is made up of representatives from the Knoxville Community School District, Knoxville Hospital & Clinics, Marion County Public Health and the City of Knoxville, along with business owners and community members interested in a healthier community.

These partners have worked together on numerous projects, including community playground additions, a tennis court and skate park, a Highway 14 walkability study, classroom programs and increased access to food pantries. Every week, about 500 Knoxville elementary school students participate in a fresh fruit and vegetable taste testing and nutrition education curriculum.

The coalition also received $5,000 as part of the award.

"We are thrilled the Knoxville community has been honored in this way," said Cassi Pearson, Knoxville Community School Distict superintendent. "We had so many community partners come together to support this effort."

The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making Iowa the healthiest state in the country. It recognizes Iowa schools, workplaces and communities that make notable strides when it comes to health and wellness. Each winner receives a monetary gift to continue work focused on improving the health and wellbeing of employees, students and citizens. To learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative, visit

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