Creating Healthier Places

Des Moines University

2018 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2015
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Committed to meet guidelines—developed by PHA in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts—around nutrition, physical activity, and programming on campus.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Offer on the menu a minimum of one (1) wellness meal at each breakfast, lunch and dinner meal (if served).
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers at least one wellness meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Summerfield's Cafe. Wellness meals are identified at the point of presentation on the cafeteria menu.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a minimum five (5) types of fruits, five (5) types of vegetables and two (2) 100% whole grain products at both lunch and dinner (if served).
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers at least five fruits, five vegetables and two 100% whole grain options at both lunch and dinner at the Summerfield's Café and Grab and Go kiosk.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer only a total number of fried foods that does not exceed the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner (if served) across all venues.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers fewer total fried foods than the total number of platforms available at both lunch and dinner at the Summerfields Café.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer and identify as healthier at point of presentation at least three (3) desserts at both lunch and dinner that have no more than 150 calories as served.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers at least three desserts, at both lunch and dinner, that have no more than 150 calories as served. The Summerfield Café features a variety of lower calorie cookies, granola bars and fresh fruit in its prominent Grab-N-Go station. The Café also created a No Bake Protein Ball recipe to feature as a healthier dessert and catering menu option.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Label food and beverage items offered with calories per serving at the point of presentation. OR Designate healthier food and beverage options using a healthy icon at the point of presentation.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University identifies nutrition and allergen information through the STARCHEF nutrition icon program. Nutrition icons identify heathy options containing at least three of the following: plant-based whole foods, healthy fats, lean protein, limits on added sugar and high fiber content. Other nutrition icons are available for vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-containing items.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a plant-based food option at every platform serving meat.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers at least one plant-based entrée at all five platforms in the Summerfields Café. Plant-based options are available for lunch and dinner each day.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Ensure that a minimum of fifty percent (50%) of vending machines offer only healthier food and beverage products or fifty percent (50%) of each vending machine content is healthier food and beverage products
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University maintains five vending machines on campus. At least 50% of the products in three machines meet healthier food and beverage product standards and at least 42% of the remaining two machines meet healthier criteria. Efforts are underway to add new healthier products to ensure all vending machines meet the 50% threshold. The University has also eliminated three other vending machines on campus and has increased the amount of healthier food and beverages in the Grab-N-Go section of its Summerfield Café.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a healthier catering menu that only includes foods and beverages that meet healthier food and nutrition guidelines.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers a catered Mediterranean "Build Your Own Salad Bar" that meets the PHA Healthier Campus Initiative Healthier Catering Criteria. The University has also been working with Summerfield's Café, their catering manager and corporate registered dietitian to ensure that a greater number of healthier food and beverage options are available on the catering menu, so students, faculty and staff may customize their catering orders to meet healthier food and nutrition guidelines. Additional healthy initiatives include offering low-fat and fat free salad dressings and cheeses, whole grain breads, cereals and pizza crust, lean deli meats, scratch cooked items that limit sodium, vegetarian options and an effort to add calories to the catering menu in 2019.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Provide marked walking routes on campus, one of which must be at least two (2) miles in length and have distance markers at regular intervals. A route map is made available to individuals on campus.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University identified a two-mile walking route through campus and neighboring communities. In lieu of distance markers, the University created an interactive map online. This and five additional walking and running routes are promoted during new student orientation, Club Day and through the Student Life/Wellness departments. New employees are provided the walking route information at their employee wellness and human resource orientations. Additionally, the route is used annually for Iowa's Healthiest State Walk.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Post signage requiring cars to stop for pedestrians at all designated or marked crosswalks on campus.
    • Progress To Date

      As part of a broader campus safety initiative, Des Moines University posted signage requiring cars to stop for pedestrians at all designated or marked crosswalks on campus. The University also addressed sight line concerns and added new sidewalks, crosswalks, vehicle stop lines, bollards and wayfinding signage throughout campus.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a bicycle and pedestrian accommodation program/policy (e.g., Complete Streets) or participate in a national bicycle or pedestrian recognition program (e.g., Bicycle Friendly University)
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University has taken steps to better accommodate bicycling on campus including adding additional bicycle spaces and bike racks, improving street lighting in high bicycle traffic areas and facilitating access to showers and lockers at the Wellness Center for bicycle commuters.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Provide, without a user fee, sixteen (16)-hour per day access to at least one (1) fitness or recreation center for all students.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University provides students with free access to the Des Moines University Wellness Center for 16.2 hours per day, on average, each week. The University also allows students to enroll a "Plus One" workout partner for no charge other than a $10 fee to cover the cost of the University photo I.D. badge.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a minimum of twenty (20) diverse recreation, physical activity/movement or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers a range of diverse competitive and non-competitive physical activity opportunities with 13 unique group fitness classes, three intramural sports, and seven recreational activities available throughout the school year. Offerings include activities such as yoga, cycling, basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, ballroom dancing and badminton.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer, without a user fee, a minimum of one (1) monthly Òhow toÓ physical activity/ movement class that introduces students to new activities.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers a range of free beginner physical activity mini-workshops, lunch and learns, fitness orientations, training clubs and initiatives to introduce students, faculty and staff to new fitness skills, techniques and exercises. Opportunities are offered regularly and feature activities such as strength training, stretching, cycling and kickboxing.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer, without a user fee, both: a. Fitness/recreation center orientation during the first semester for all incoming students and b. One (1) fitness assessment all students each academic year.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University offers a free wellness center orientation that is available for all incoming and prospective students. Additional orientations are available throughout the year and promoted to students. The University also provides a Personal Wellness Profile (PWP) wellness screening which is highly recommended for all first year students and required in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant students' curriculum. The PWP is comprised of three (3) components: an online health risk appraisal, lab work to evaluate total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, glucose and triglyceride levels and a fitness assessment which includes collection of biometric data such as height, weight, percent body fat, blood pressure, resting heart rate and waist measurement. Students are encouraged to participate in additional PWPs each year to compare assessment results.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Provide at least one outdoor running/walking track that is open and available for use to individuals on campus and the community for at least three (3) hours per day .
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University does not have an outdoor track, however the Wellness Center features an indoor one-twelfth mile running track that is open between 11 and 17 hours daily. The Wellness Center is available for use by students, faculty, staff, alumni and a designated "Plus One" for each student member.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University implements wellness programming and activities for all individuals on campus. The wellness program is directed by a coordinating committee of three students, one faculty/administrator and five staff representatives. All wellness programs and activities are promoted via the website, Pulse intranet, the OrgSync student information system, emails, a monthly newsletter, the Weekly Dose of DMU campus news and updates and digital monitors located in the Wellness Center. Wellness opportunities include activities such as incentive programs to promote weight management, physical activity, nutrition and stress management, fitness classes, individualized exercise programs, personal wellness consultations and chair massages.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a mandatory health and wellness education online module to be completed by all incoming first year or transfer students, upon registering with the college or university.
    • Progress To Date

      Des Moines University's Personal Wellness Profile (PWP) is available to all incoming first-year or transfer students, upon registering at DMU University. The PWP includes a Health Risk Appraisal Questionnaire, Cholesterol and Diabetes screening and Fitness Tests including height and weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, flexibility and body composition. The PWP provides students with a comprehensive evaluation of lifestyle habits and health risks and offers students with lifestyle strategies to improve health. Physician Assistant (PA) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students are required to complete the PWP and it is highly recommended in other academic colleges.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018
    • Commitment Element

      Offer non-academic cooking skills classes that are available to students.
    • Progress To Date

      The Des Moines University's Teaching Kitchen facilitates both non-academic cooking skills classes and workshops, as well as a 7-week Healthy Cooking Elective for second year students. Nonacademic cooking classes include lunch and learns and healthy cooking demonstrations. Students may reserve the Teaching Kitchen for events such as healthy potlucks, healthy Thanksgiving get-togethers and to demonstrate favorite recipes for their classmates. The Teaching Kitchen is also used by students to prepare meals for a nearby homeless shelter once per month.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2018
    • Reporting Date

      November 2018

Partner Statement

“It’s such an exciting achievement and honor for Des Moines University (DMU) to be recognized as one of the completing Partnership for a Healthier America partners at the 2019 PHA Summit!

‘Des Moines University views the engagement with Partnership for a Healthier America as integral to the mission and core values of our organization,’ says DMU President and CEO Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D. 'With a firm commitment to training future health professionals and a sincere and genuine desire to promote health and wellness within our organization, we not only state wellness as a core value, but also live it as one of our fundamental guiding principles. This work is vital to our success.’

"The Staff of Summerfield’s, DMU’s on-campus cafe and food service, have worked cooperatively with the DMU Wellness staff to make healthy dining both easier and delicious. A few of the 23 commitment elements achieved include:

  • Encouraging student physical activity and movement through campus facilities and programs during the academic year. DMU offers 20 diverse recreation, physical activity and competitive sports opportunities ranging from intramural basketball and volleyball to ping pong, ballroom dance practice, wrestling and fitness classes.
  • Providing healthier food and beverage services in campus-operated dining venues. The University offers at least one wellness meal at each breakfast, lunch and dinner served.
  • Enabling students and employees to plan and purchase healthier meals with labels and five digital monitors at the University’s five food stations that detail calorie counts, nutritional information and potential allergens for all food options.

"DMU received the 2018 Healthiest State Large Workplace Award from Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative, which annually recognizes communities, workplaces, schools and individuals for promoting healthy habits and lifestyles. For more information on the University’s wellness program, visit www.dmu.edu/wellness-center/.