New Des Moines health conference will focus on underserved populations

“My City My Health: Des Moines” Organizer Corey Dion Lewis/Submitted Photo

Corey Dion Lewis’ family background is one of the things that inspired him to get involved in the field of health and wellness.

“Chronic illness was normal for me growing up,” he said. “Watching my family fight diabetes [and] at the time not really understanding that it was killing them.

“As I got older, I started to understand, ‘Wait, that’s not a lifestyle I want to lead.’ It really motivated me to want to help people in this way and health coaching has been that vehicle for me.

Lewis, who is black, said part of the problem was his family’s diet, which consisted of a lot of fried foods. While attending the University of Iowa at Iowa City, the East Moline, Illinois native found his calling as a clinical health coach, even though he initially majored in psychology.

“I was always doing something in the health field. I was always talking about health, I always liked health, and I realized psychology wasn’t for me,” Lewis said.

After a professor’s suggestion, Lewis pivoted to become a clinical health coach. His career took him to Des Moines where he eventually began serving the community at Broadlawns Medical Center, a non-profit hospital owned by Polk County residents.

Today, Lewis takes her passion for health and wellness one step further.

It hosts “My City My Health: Des Moines”, a health equity summit, the first of its kind. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, November 11 at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines.

Lewis sponsors him through his podcast “The Healthy Project,” one of the top 200 health podcasts on Apple, which he started in 2020 to see his patients at a time when he couldn’t physically be with them. It has since evolved significantly, and discussions range from racial discrimination in health care to ways to reduce health inequities.

“We always talk about prevention, because that’s where my passion started, but expanding to a public health perspective through a black and brown lens and what’s going on,” Lewis said.

The health equity conference is just the next step after these conversations.

“My City My Health: Des Moines” is supported by Broadlawns, University of Des Moines, UnityPoint Health, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and more.

The event will consist of four panels and speakers including medical professionals, media personalities, fitness and wellness experts, and social justice advocates in and around central Iowa.

Some speakers include:

  • Broadlawns CEO Anthony Coleman
  • Jacquie Easley McGee of the Des Moines NAACP and Mercy Medical Center
  • Izaah Knox, Executive Director of Urban Dream
  • Rheya Springer, former Des Moines TV presenter
  • Dana James of Black Iowa News

Lewis noted that he had attended many conferences in Des Moines with speakers unrelated to the city and region. He has nothing against these events, but Lewis wanted his conference to feel more local.

“What I wanted to do differently is have everyone who speaks in this ‘My City My Health: Des Moines’ be from Des Moines or have some kind of sweat equity or something to do with the improving the health of the most underserved and most vulnerable population here,” he said.

Lewis wants this initial event to be a success in hopes of spreading “My City My Health” to other communities so he and others can share health and wellness tips and troubleshoot and find solutions. solutions to systemic health system problems.

“This isn’t your average event either,” Lewis said. “I will say that we bring a lot of culture to this event. It’s just going to be hype. It will be fun and educational at the same time.

Event details

What: My City, My Health Des Moines, presented by The Healthy Project

Who: Des Moines’ most influential health and community advocates will speak about what they are doing to improve the health of our most vulnerable and underserved population.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, November 11

Where: Mainframe Studios in Des Moines

Admission: $45

On line:

by Ty Rushing

To contact editor Ty Rushing for advice or story ideas, email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @Rushthewriter

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