Lake County Joins Groundbreaking Well-Being Movement Through Blue Zones Project

Blue Zones Project Lake County joins the recently launched Blue Zones Project communities of Upper Napa Valley, Mendocino County, and Tuolumne County as Northern California areas where Adventist Health is introducing this unique community-driven well-being improvement initiative as part of its commitment to the communities it serves. Lake County is supported locally by Adventist Health Clear Lake, which will work in close collaboration with other local stakeholders to promote healthy choices and lifestyles in the region.

“At Adventist Health, our values call for us to transform the health experience of the communities we support by improving physical, mental, and spiritual health. Clearly, the transformative capabilities of Blue Zones Project align closely with those values,” said David Santos, President, and CEO for Adventist Health Clear Lake. “The Blue Zones model lifts well-being at the population level by making healthy choices easier in all the places people live, work, learn, pray and play, and by introducing Blue Zones Project Lake County we will empower all members of this community to live longer, lives by enhancing the built environment.”

Based on research on the world’s longest-lived communities by National Geographic Fellow and best-selling author Dan Buettner, Blue Zones Project is the leading nationwide well-being improvement initiative. Blue Zones Project is a first-of-its-kind population health initiative that helps entire communities get healthier by optimizing public policy, social connections, and the places and spaces where people spend the most time so that healthy choices are easy and accessible. Participating communities have seen double-digit drops in obesity and smoking rates, economic investment in downtown corridors, grant funding awards to support policies and programs aimed at improving health equity, higher well-being levels, increased productivity, and measurable savings in healthcare costs.

Blue Zones Project and Adventist Health initiated the site assessment of Lake County earlier this year, meeting with community leaders from across the county to begin to understand readiness for and scope of a Blue Zones Project in Lake County. The assessment covered areas that a Blue Zones Project engages, including the built environment, food and tobacco policy, worksites, schools, faith-based organizations, and civic and non-profit groups. Local leaders from many of these sectors as well as healthcare and tribal communities participated and expressed support for Blue Zones Project in Lake County. Multiple opportunities for alignment of the community’s current initiatives and strategic plans with the Blue Zones Project were also noted.

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need has never been greater for a proven solution that will help entire communities get healthier and happier with higher well-being, reduced healthcare spending, and better health outcomes for current and future generations,” said Ben Leedle, CEO of Blue Zones and co-founder of Blue Zones Project. “By partnering with Blue Zones Project, Lake County demonstrates how a community can come together in a powerful and strategic way to advance their own health and well-being. We look forward to collaborating with the community leaders, our partners, and the people of Lake County in achieving this vision of a better tomorrow when everyone there is living better and longer with a higher quality of life.”

All residents of Lake County are welcome and encouraged to take part in Blue Zones Project programs and offerings, including signing up for the newsletter, following the Blue Zones Project Lake County Facebook page, and taking a well-being assessment.

“The decision to introduce Blue Zones Project to Lake County comes at a critical juncture for our community and offers a unique opportunity to elevate our collective well-being through lasting societal change,” added Jamey Gill, Executive Director of Blue Zones Project Lake County. “We strongly encourage everyone in Lake County to join us in our community’s journey to better health by engaging with Blue Zones Project, as the data and feedback they provide will help identify specific points of emphasis for the initiative to consider.”

The launch of Blue Zones Project Lake County represents the beginning of a multi-year collaborative effort that involves the entire community working together towards one common goal – to support and inspire community health and well-being. The local implementation team will begin the leadership planning phase this month, with a kickoff event to follow early in 2022.

More information about Blue Zones Project Lake County is available at lakecounty.bluezonesproject.com.

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