AARP AARP States Iowa Community

Reclaiming Healthy Habits

After 15 months of being out of synch with our normal routines, lots of worry and stress, sitting too long, and comfort eating, returning to a healthy lifestyle might be an uphill climb for Iowans; replacing new habits and getting back on track could prove difficult. To help, AARP Iowa talked with Iowa health experts to get their guidance on ways to reclaim healthy habits.

Meet the Experts
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Teresa Adams-Tomka President of Kitchen Collage of Des Moines, a 22 year old small business operated in the East Village; 2020 Iowa State University Ivy College of Business Women Business Owner of the Year; Past President and Founding member of Les Dames Escoffier Des Moines Chapter; Ironman Boulder finisher 2015; Mother of five , Grandmother of five
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Dr. Buck is Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor in Gerontological Nursing in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa.  She is currently Co-Director of the Csomay Center of Gerontological Excellence.  In Dr. Buck’s 20+ years of clinical practice she cared for older adult patients across the cardiology trajectory from Open Heart Recovery to Telemetry to Hospice.
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Wesley Franklin is the Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association in West Des Moines, IA. He works with companies and organizations to help establish a culture of health, for their patient population or workforce. His main goal is to help individuals find a comfortable starting point in health and wellness and work towards a progression.
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Jami Haberl joined as the executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative in December 2014. She began her career at the Iowa Department of Public Health in 2001 working in the area of telemedicine and eventually leading the creation of the statewide public health and healthcare disaster preparedness and response program.
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Peggy Huppert is the Executive Director at The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Iowa, Inc. (also known as NAMI IOWA). Peggy has over 35 years of experience with nonprofit organizations, primarily within the Des Moines community. Most recently she was the Iowa State Director for No Labels. Prior to that Peggy held leadership and management positions with the American Cancer Society. She has considerable volunteer experience within the arts and social justice arenas. Peggy has a B.A. in News Editorial Journalism.
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Mary Van Heukelom is the Program Director for Above and Beyond Cancer. She co-creates and leads the Optimal Living for Cancer Survivor Programs.  Mary trains, educates, and coaches cancer survivors to reduce the chance of relapse, and enhance recovery, through the implementation of holistic personal wellness programs that address all aspects of healthy living.  

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