In Marshalltown, Iowa, diabetes was affecting a significant portion of the population. Marshalltown was poorly equipped to provide preventive interventions, especially for the Latino population. Several community health assessments and inventories of wellness supports in the community pointed to the need to be more deliberate and targeted in making the wellness message relevant and compelling enough for the largest at-risk populations, the Latino community which had significantly higher rates of diabetes. With a mind to remedy this disparity, the YMCA-YWCA won a bid to become one of only 10 YMCAs in the United States in 2010 to pilot a new evidenced-based diabetes prevention program. This program, however, did not meet the needs of Spanish-speaking residents of Marshalltown. In 2012, a language-appropriate and culturally relevant Spanish version of the program was made available to demonstration sites.
Imagine 7 Big Ideas by 2011: Imagine a community that has been down on its luck for a number of years having a self image crisis. Imagine a group of citizens deciding there has been enough self pity and taking things into their own hands to move the community forward and begin to recreate a positive self image. This is the story of Marshalltown, Iowa.