The Blue Zones Project Monterey County Health Initiative Expands Progress, Transformation And Well-Being For All

HEALTH INITIATIVE EXPANDS PROGRESS, TRANSFORMATION AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL 

Bringing more resiliency to combating COVID-19 

Community volunteers joined Blue Zones Project Monterey Team last January to help form Walking Moais at a public event at Northridge Mall

MONTEREY COUNTY, CA — JANUARY 13, 2021; 1pm (PST) —Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS), Taylor Farms, and Montage Health today announced the expansion of the Blue Zones Project Monterey County (BZPMC) through an extension of their agreement with Sharecare and Blue Zones LLC. The new agreement expands Blue Zones Project® by Sharecare beyond Salinas to the Monterey Peninsula and County. 

Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to built environment, policy and social networks, enabling residents to live longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic disease. The path to greater well-being in Monterey County began in August of 2018, when an initial assessment conducted by Blue Zones Project in Salinas determined the community was well positioned to embrace well-being improvement, with a strong community foundation and a willingness to implement programs and activities required to become a Blue Zones Project community.   

In less than two years, through its collaboration and partnerships with local government, civic groups, worksites, schools, restaurants, and grocery stores, BZPMC has fostered greater well-being for over 11,000 people and 110 organizations that took part in healthy programs.   

“This expansion comes at a critical time during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “These proactive and proven efforts are essential to help our community and its residents recover and build long-term resiliency. Blue Zones Project offers something for everybody regardless of where they happen to be on their own well-being improvement journey, and we’re excited to work with our partners to engage all county residents in this project.” 

Now this impactful work is being extended to the entire County. In February 2019, more than 460 members of the community on the Monterey Peninsula and County attended workshops and focus groups showing broad interest in the program. Already, there is great engagement with larger employers in the County, including all three sponsors and the Monterey County Office of Education. In addition, collaborative partnerships have been established for coordinated local policy advancement – specifically smoke-free Monterey County parks. 

 “The Blue Zones Project model allows us to collaborate across the Peninsula, and across the entire County, to bring together various sectors – healthcare, the business community, schools, local government, community groups and individuals – providing us with a roadmap to promote longevity and wellness – a shared goal we can all embrace,” shares Steven Packer CEO/President Montage Health. “Blue Zones Project allows us to address major health issues that make our community vulnerable to illness in our community, including COVID-19, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This initiative will assist our communities in preventing future illness for years to come.” 

Dr. Allen S. Weiss, MD, FACP, FACR, MBA, and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Zones Project by Sharecare states, “It is self-evident that a community of healthy, economically stable, and happy people can withstand the onslaught of a pandemic better than a group of sick and sad people. Preventing obesity, ceasing tobacco products, and boosting physical activity are all positive individual and community goals even in normal times. These are not normal times. COVID-19 should motivate America to embrace health and wellness broadly.”  

Bruce Taylor of Taylor Farms stated, “We have our challenges ahead of us as much of our population has been impacted by COVID, and compounded by the devastating wildfires. Despite our challenges I’m confident that we have the programs and people in place to continue to improve the health and wellness of our community by expanding Blue Zones Project Monterey County.” 

“It’s clear to me our sponsors are committed to the health of Monterey County and it’s very exciting to grow this project across multiple Monterey County communities. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with others to support the vision of bringing equitable well-being for all,” shares Tiffany DiTullio, Executive Director, Blue Zones Project Monterey County. 

To learn more about how you can get involved in Blue Zones Project Monterey County, visit their English website at montereycounty.bluezonesproject.com or their Spanish Website at montereycounty-es.bluezonesproject.com 

Like them on Facebook @bzpmontereyco 

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