Established in 2008, the Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative (IHWI) was developed by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to address the high incidence of overweight and obesity amongst Hoosiers. In an effort to bring relatable, sustainable, and measurable outcomes surrounding chronic overweight and obesity to counties across Indiana, the IHWI assisted in the development of Indiana’s Comprehensive Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan 2010-2020. A plan that was created by a large and diverse group of individuals and organizations located throughout Indiana. It provides a bold and dynamic framework for the action needed across all sectors of Indiana to address poor nutrition, sedentary behaviors, and overweight and obesity.
Throughout the past 11 years, the IHWI has persevered, been awarded new opportunities and looks to take on new strategies in its continued dedication to decreasing the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Indiana. Now housed in the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), the IHWI has transitioned to its new director, Antonia Sawyer, and expanded its scope to include food security, accessibility, and environmental issues. All risk factors that help community leaders, stakeholders, and champions identify and address root causes of overweight and obesity within their communities.
The future of the IHWI is bright and includes a new name, strategic plan, and level of community engagement not seen before in its history. We look to create collaborative and long-lasting relationships with all Hoosiers we meet, and provide a level of expertise that decreases risk factors and promotes health.
Antonia Sawyer, B.S., graduated with academic distinction from Indiana University in 2014, with a degree in the science of psychology. Since then, she has lead a successful career in community development. Utilizing her personal and professional experience, Antonia has assisted exceptional leaders in the development and/or implementation of both innovative and traditional programming within communities. Now a Strategic Leadership and Design graduate student at the University of Indianapolis, and director of the Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative through the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Indiana University School of Medicine, Antonia seeks to further improve the overall health of Hoosier families through collaboration of state and community coalitions focusing on the reduction of factors that contribute to the poor physical and mental health of residents state-wide.