Health Policy

Active Ottumwa Podcast Series Released

The Active Ottumwa Podcast series, through the University of Iowa Prevention Research Center for Rural Health, was released this week. Natoshia Askelson, research fellow in the Health Policy Research Program, is the deputy director and center PI for the organization.

“A Community on the Move: The Story of Active Ottumwa,” is a podcast series that tells the story of Active Ottumwa- a community’s efforts to increase physical activity.  In this 10-episode series, you will learn about the successes of Active Ottumwa program, the impact the program had on the residents of Ottumwa, the strong relationships that blossomed from this project, and some of the challenges that were overcome through community involvement. 

During the podcast, you will hear from Ottumwa community members, Active Ottumwa participants, and University of Iowa researchers. Each episode focuses on a different component on the Active Ottumwa project. For example, the first episode talks about how the program came to be and the timeline of events that started the program off on the “right” step. In another episode you can hear from the program’s volunteer Physical Activity Leaders on why and how they became involved in the program and what the program brought to their lives. In an episode with some of the dedicated program participants, heartfelt stories are shared of how community members heard about the program, what activities they found the most fun, and why they kept coming back. Toward the end of the series, there is an episode where the University of Iowa Researchers explain how they showed the program’s success in getting people to move more. These are just a few of the highlights from this heartwarming series—many more topics and lessons learned are shared throughout.

To listen to this podcast, use your preferred podcast platform or the page: Episodes are released every Thursday morning, so tune in every week for a new dose of fun!

This podcast and the Active Ottumwa program would not have been possible without the support of the dedicated community members who guided the program, led activities, and continuously returned to the program’s free physical activity opportunities. We hope you find a sense of joy and connectedness through this series. 

For more information about the Active Ottumwa program contact Becky Bucklin at