Van Harden to deliver keynote at Healthiest State Annual Awards

Here's the information from a press release from the Healthiest State Initiative:

DES MOINES, IA — Radio personality Van Harden will share the story of his personal health transformation with honorees and attendees at the Healthiest State Annual Awards on Feb. 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the Rob Pearson Center in West Des Moines.

The Healthiest State Initiative announced Monday that Harden will deliver the keynote address at the event which honors schools, workplaces, communities and individuals from across the state for improving the health and well-being of Iowans.

Harden, longtime co-host of popular WHO Radio show “Van & Bonnie in the Morning,” lost more than 100 pounds over an eight-month time period in 2015 and 2016 through regular exercise and an improved diet.

 “Many Iowans want to be healthier but don’t know where to start. Van’s story is relatable, inspirational and we’re excited for him to share it at the Annual Awards,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “It’s less about the weight he lost and more about what he gained by living a healthier lifestyle.”

Since 2016, Harden has maintained his weight loss and encouraged listeners to join him at monthly “Walk with Van” events in Des Moines. He wrote a book about his weight-loss experience, “How You Look and How You Feel: Personal Transformation,” which will be available for purchase at the event.

The Healthiest State Annual Awards are open to the public and tickets to the event are on sale now at Tickets are $25 for individuals or $190 for table and includes heavy hors d'oeuvres.


Finalists in each category (education, worksite, individual and Healthy Hometown) will be announced in mid-January with the winners being revealed at the event on Feb. 7. Each winner will receive a monetary prize to continue their health and wellness efforts. The Healthiest State Awards are sponsored by Hy-Vee, Inc. and Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®.

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The Healthiest State Initiative is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. By engaging worksites, communities, schools, retail food, organizations, institutions and individuals, we can inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness, and ultimately achieve our goal. For more information, visit

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