Community Invited to Attend Blue Zones Summit
In August, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced a plan to make Iowa the Healthiest State by the year 2016 as measured by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index®. The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately- led, publicly endorsed effort that will engage citizens throughout the state to improve their overall health and well-being.
According to the 2010 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, Iowa currently ranks as the 19th healthiest state in the nation. Although that puts Iowa in the top half, there is room for improvement. Today, Iowa scores well on emotional health, physical health and access to basics such as safe surroundings, financial resources, strong community and health care services. Progress needs to be made on healthy behaviors such as exercise and eating habits, as well as improving overall work environments.
An exciting component of this initiative is the vision to transform 10 Iowa communities into Blue Zones Communities, which are the healthiest, happiest, longest-living cultures on earth and make the healthy choice the easy choice. Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is going to give $50 million collectively to these 10 communities to help transform them into Blue Zones. Dickinson County would like to be selected as one of these 10 Iowa communities. To be selected, a local Blue Zones Advisory Board has been created, consisting of school, business, and city representatives, among others. In addition, a Statement of Interest to become a Blue Zones Community was submitted in late October. The next step is to submit a detailed application by January 4, 2012.
Becoming a Blue Zones Community would benefit every resident in the area, and is a grassroots effort that requires the support of individuals. To learn more, a Blue Zones Summit is scheduled for Monday, November 21 at 5:00 pm at the Sami Center in Spirit Lake. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to learn what and where are Blue Zones, how the Iowa Great Lakes community can benefit by being selected as a Blue Zones Community, who’s on the local Blue Zones Advisory Board, how individuals can help, and offer ideas on how to implement Blue Zones initiatives in our area.
Those that cannot make it to the Blue Zones Summit, but would like to get personally involved in this community-wide effort are encouraged to contact Jennifer Gustafson at email@example.com or at 336-8799 or contact Sonja Hamm at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 336-9622.