(Des Moines) Three southwest Iowa Communities received word today from Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield that they are three of 10 small Iowa communities selected to receive site visits. They will move forward on the path to transform their communities using Blue Zones® principles, as published by Dan Buettner in his best-selling book, Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. The three southwest Iowa cities include; Audubon, Red Oak, and Harlan.
“We are thrilled,” stated Vicki Gillespie, from the Shelby County Community Health Department, who helped steer the project. “We know we have a strong community as far as our partnerships and our abilities to work together. In addition we got a lot of support and commitment to living more healthy and that is what it is all about and we worked hard on our application.”
The citizens of Audubon, Red Oak, and Harlan will now receive expert assistance from officials from the Blue Zone Project to help them make positive interventions in Shelby County
This announcement comes on the heels of February’s announcement where Wellmark committed to expand beyond the original 10 Blue Zones Project™ demonstration sites (population greater than 10,000) by developing alternate opportunities for small communities (population less than 10,000) to improve their health and well-being. During the review process two things became clear: 1) there were a large number of quality applications; and 2) there were clear differences among the small and large communities. These two elements led to Wellmark’s decision.
The other seven cities include; Algona, Decorah, Fairfield, Spirit Lake, St. Ansgar, and Woodbine.
April 4, 2012