HILO, Hawaii – East Hawaii, North Hawaii, and Windward Oahu were named as Hawaii’s first Blue Zones Project® Demonstration Communities on Friday. The announcement was made in Hilo on the lanai of the mayor’s office, where a crowd of officials applauded the revelation.
Here is a portion of the joint media release issued today:
HILO, Hawaii & NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 13, 2015 – Hawai’i Medical Service Association (HMSA), Blue Zones, LLC and Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY) today announced that three Hawaii communities have been selected as Hawaii’s first Blue Zones Project® Demonstration Communities. HMSA and Blue Zones Project congratulated East Hawaii, North Hawaii, and, Windward Oahu (Ko`olaupoko) at an announcement ceremony in Hilo. These three communities will now join the island of Kauai, which was a selected to be a Blue Zones Project pilot community in 2013. Blue Zones Project Hawaii was launched through a partnership between HMSA and Healthways to improve the health and well-being of the state.
“Blue Zones Project has a proven track record,” said HMSA Chief Transformation Officer Michael Stollar. “In Iowa, Minnesota and California, Blue Zones Communities have lowered their healthcare costs, increased productivity and measurably improved the quality of life for their residents. Evidence like this shows that we have a tremendous opportunity to invest in the health and well-being of Hawaii.”
Blue Zones Project brings together citizens, schools, employers, restaurants, grocery stores and community leaders to improve the living environment so the healthy choice is not only easy but often unavoidable. Hawaii communities that expressed an interest in earning Blue Zones Project certification submitted applications last September. Now that they have been selected, these communities will work with national experts to develop and implement a blueprint for permanent environmental, social and policy changes that will result in healthier behaviors and longer, happier lives.
Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote wellness; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.
HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.
Headquartered on Oahu with centers and offices statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Blue Zones
Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The Company’s work is rooted in the New York Times best-selling books The Blue Zones and Thrive – both published by National Geographic books. In 2009, Blue Zones applied the tenets of the books to Albert Lea, MN and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs for city workers by 40%. Blue Zones takes a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, building design, social networks, and the built environment. The Blue Zones Project is based on this innovative approach. For more information, visit www.bluezones.com.
Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities, and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com.HMSA, Healthways news release
This video, produced by Blue Zones Project, explains more about the effort:
For more video and information from this event: Blue Zones Project Demonstration Communities Revealed (Feb. 13)
EDITORS NOTE: A previous title to this article “VIDEO: First Three Blue Zones In Hawaii Named, Two On Big Island” has been changed to “VIDEO: First Three Blue Zones Project Demonstration Communities In Hawaii Named”. The term “Blue Zones” refers to the original five areas discovered by Dan Buettner where people live the longest.
by Big Island Video News
East Hawaii, North Hawaii, and Windward Oahu were named as Hawaii’s first Blue Zones Project® Demonstration Communities on Friday. The announcement was made in Hilo on the lanai of the mayor's office, where a crowd of officials applauded the revelation.